Magazine article Work & Family Life

What Babies Learn When We Read to Them

Magazine article Work & Family Life

What Babies Learn When We Read to Them

Article excerpt

A reader writes:

As an early childhood teacher, I'm always encouraging parents to read to their children, starting with when they are babies. I found this on the website of the NAEYC (National Association for the Education of Young Children) and really enjoyed it.

It's by Julia Luckenbill, who tells of the many things infants learn when we read to them. So, if your baby could speak (like a grownup), here's what he or she might say:

* Books have wonderful stories and songs that I like to hear over and over again.

* Reading is a happy time when I am held and loved.

* When you read to me I hear how words are used. I learn new words and I listen to rich language.

* I'm learning that things come in different colors, sizes and shapes.

* The letters, words and pictures that you point to when you read to me all have meaning.

* I find my favorite pictures in the same place in a book.

* I'm learning the names of my body parts. I'm hearing the sounds animals make and I'm learning that animals go to sleep just like I do.

* Some books are more fun than others and I'm happy to hear them again and again.

* It's fun to play with language, and explore rhythm, rhyme and humor. …

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