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article imageWhat's the best way to read to a baby?

By Tim Sandle     Jan 24, 2014 in Lifestyle
Researcher and writer Elaine Reese has provide some tips for reading to new babies. Although babies do not seem to react much, Reese argues that reading out loud has benefits for the baby’s development.
Speaking to Science News, Reese provides the best tips for reading to a new baby. These are:
Forget about reading all the words on every page. Instead, ask lots of questions (and not just yes/no ones). Ask your young one, “Why did the caterpillar eat all of that food?”
Pause longer than you think you should. Young kids sometimes need a long time to formulate answers. If there’s no response, you can pipe up with the answer.
Confirm and praise the child’s response. “That’s right! He was hungry — very hungry. He needed to eat some food.”
Extend the child’s response with another question. “What do you think he’ll eat next?”
By doing this, Reese argues, rich reading treats the book as less of a story and more of a conversation starter, a way for language skills to more easily enter into the child’s brain. In the introduction to her latest book, Reese writes:
“Contemporary research shows that parents who tell and read stories in a rich and responsive way have children with advanced language, memory, and emotional development. Many parents and educators have relied on reading books out loud to children as a way to strengthen their literacy skills, but what they may not know is that family storytelling may be just as important for children's development as reading books.”
Elaine Reese is a professor of psychology at the University of Otago and the education domain leader on a national birth cohort study. Reese edits the influential Journal of Cognition and Development. Her latest book is Tell Me a Story Sharing Stories to Enrich Your Child's World.
More about Baby, Reading, children's books, Toddlers, Kids
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