CREATING YOUR VERY OWN LITTLE BOOKWORM – By Jayne McIntyre
As a child I loved reading stories, and even wrote many of my own.
To this day my mother still comes across hidden gems with hilarious titles and interpretive illustrations which I, at the time, insisted she kept.
Thank you mum for following through with that promise to a little girl, who at the tender age of eight decided she would someday become a writer.
While I’ve had to drastically cut back on my former reading habits since having a baby, I’m resolute on passing down my passion on to AJ.
Sure, we’ll start off with the simple stuff like flip-up books and ‘my first’ animals, but the current reading level or content doesn’t make this ritual any less significant.
Talk about starting early, I even read to AJ while he was still in the womb as I found it a nice way for us to connect.
Aside from being a soothing, bonding experience (especially when cuddled up on a rainy day), reading to your young can have various educational and developmental benefits.
From learning the direction of a page turn to fostering imagination, reading is a great way for kids to build listening, memory and vocabulary skills and helps to give them information about the world around them.
Even babies will squeal with delight as you reveal colourful pictures hidden under flaps or change your voice to suit different characters.
Beyond these beginners’ books, I’m quite looking forward to AJ advancing on to my own childhood favourites, like The Magic Faraway Tree and Mrs Frisbee and the Rats of Nimh.
Even though he won’t be able to read these books himself for a while yet, I’m happy for him to sit on my knee as we delve into the magical worlds together.
When the time comes we can then progress on to other must-reads such as Harry Potter, and The Chronicles of Narnia.
Admittedly, I have a soft-spot for stories featuring wizards and magical creatures, but I know that AJ will soon develop favourites of his own.
Just the other week I joined my local library and introduced AJ to the children’s section.
It was wonderful seeing other mums with their little ones in tow, sitting on the colourful miniature chairs and beanbags as they read stories together.
While AJ is still a bit young to appreciate all that the library has to offer, he certainly enjoyed the experience – and obeyed the ‘quiet’ rule, thankfully.
Along with the creative seating areas and wide range of books and DVDs, there was a separate room for mothers and children to participate in shared story time and activities.
This is a great, not to mention affordable, way to keep kids entertained and interact with their peers.
All-in-all, exploring books with babies clearly has many benefits, but don’t be discouraged by a ripped page or lack of interest.
Here are some helpful do’s and don’ts from book publisher Scholastic.
What about you? What are some of your reading tips or childhood favourites?