Babies can read too

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By Beth Pinyerd

Classroom Observer

I love to be in classrooms taking care of newborns, one and two-year-olds and toddlers. As they begin to search and explore life all around them, I begin to think of all the many avenues of learning.
Reading to young children is understood by the young mind more than you know. It amazes me how quickly these little minds begin to absorb what is going on around them.
Why wait to reap the benefits of beginning to read when your child is four or five years old? Don’t miss a moment or opportunity to encourage your child to read and succeed!
The benefits of reading to your children early in their lives are to develop listening skills, to explore the world around them, to learn about themselves and others around them. Children are also encouraged to learn the meanings of words, memorizing words and phrases, as well as using their imaginations. Spending time reading to your child makes him or her feel secure and loved, and creates a lasting bond
In reading to your baby from birth to 11 months, search for books that may be easy to wash and clean such as vinyl books, cloth or thick cardboard books. Set books up where they can be seen and enjoyed.
Point and tap the pages so the baby will focus on what is being read and keep the baby’s attention. Sitting with your young baby in your lap and looking at books will open the mind of a young child. Older babies like to hold books, point to the pictures and turn the pages. Be sure to name the objects and items the baby may see on each page.
With your one-year-old child, he or she can point and express a choice of the books they want to read. Putting books out with textures or those that make sound with sound devices are very motivating for your child in reading readiness. Having your child point to pictures, naming them and using a lot of expression in making sounds begins the interactive reading readiness process.
Those wonderful two year olds will want mom, dad or grandparents to read their favorite books again and again. They will memorize it and you will too! Have a bookmark or use your finger to point so your two year old can follow the words. Have your child act out the story or retell the story in their own words.
It doesn’t take a lot of time to read to your young child. Make it a celebration by eating your favorite snack while reading together. Help turn reading a book a day into a top priority in your child’s life. Check in with your local library to see what hours they read to young children. Embark on the journey of reading early in your child’s life as they learn, grow, apply what they’ve learned and succeed. You will never regret the time you spent reading to your child.
Pinyerd has taught young children in the early childhood classroom for 34 years as well as outreaching to the elderly in intergenerational settings. She has taught and outreached in the schools in Opelika and Baldwin County. She holds a master’s degree in early childhood education as well as a bachelor’s degree in family and child development both from Auburn University. Her husband is the late Carl Pinyerd and she has one son, Gus Pinyerd who has taught her so much about learning. Classroom Observer is here to serve the community in sharing the wonderful teaching programs in our local public schools, private schools, and homeschools. The column is provided to enrich the education of our children, youth, and families. Classroom Observer welcomes educational news, school news, pictures, and events by e-mailing her at donnapinyerd@charter.net

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