What’s Right With This Picture?
From the perspective of a parent (x3) and library associate, my answer is… “EVERYTHING”.
Just look at that dad, would you! And look at that baby…so engaged! I love how Dad is on baby’s level, how they’re lying on their backs snuggling together, how baby’s leg is intertwined with Dad’s arm, baby’s hand touches Dad’s face…all warm and cozy for storytime! I can just imagine the sporadic happy baby kicks and flailing baby hands as the story is read aloud in Dad’s familiar voice. What better way to spend time together! *Sigh!*
Reading to children from birth is really the way to go. Your baby already recognizes and responds to your voice, and will generally go quiet upon hearing it. The sound of your voice; it’s timbre, melody, cadence, and the sound of language and syllables, are all literary music to your baby’s ears. REALLY. You just wouldn’t even believe all the good things going on for your baby when you read aloud to them!
- Your baby will develop better listening skills
- Your baby’s vocabulary will be more extensive
- Your baby’s attention span and memory will develop
- Promotes your baby’s thinking, social and language skills
- Your baby will learn to understand the concept of print
Infants learn vocabulary quickly. It’s no surprise that research shows this growth is clearly linked to the extent their parents converse with them. A baby who is read to becomes a child with a large listening and speaking vocabulary, who has an enormous advantage in learning to read!
In an article for Five Owls Magazine (May/June 1999), Julie Schumacher and Hilary Stecklein state, “Language learning is best accomplished within a context of nurturing care. It is the attention, the reciprocal delight, and the dance of interaction between child and adoring adult that turns spontaneous noise into meaningful communication.”
So keep enjoying books together Matt and Jamie, (father and child pictured above), and thank you for giving us this wonderful example.
Deerfield Public Library offers Baby Lapsit, a 6 week session of books, fingerplays and music for babies birth – 12 months and caregiver.