A new video designed to show parents easy tips for reading with their babies is now available from First Things First. The two-minute video, Reading With Your Baby, offers ways parents can help their baby develop language skills from the day they are born. When a young child hears words and language, the brain develops important connections needed to learn how to read. Reading with a baby is also a great opportunity to build a strong and healthy relationship between parent and child.
Every year, throughout March, classrooms across the nation host reading events for elementary school children. But early literacy starts way before a child reaches a classroom. It begins before babies can talk and continues as they become toddlers and preschoolers. In fact, studies have linked the number of words children know at ages 3 and 4 to their reading comprehension levels in third and fourth grade. Reading daily with children starting at birth helps them learn new words.
First Things First offers families help to grow early language and literacy skills starting from birth. In addition to the video, there’s an early literacy page on the FTF website where parents and families can find ways to build a child’s brain, lists of favorite age-appropriate books and more ways to make reading a daily family habit.
Another great resource to help families instill a love of reading in their children can be found through Read On Arizona, an FTF partner that engages communities in supporting early literacy for kids birth to 8 years old.
Read On Arizona offers resources and tools such as Smart Talk, which encourages parents to have quality back-and-forth conversations with your baby. Though babies can’t talk, they can still communicate with caring adults in their lives – through eye contact, facial expressions, smiles and crying.
For babies, a quality conversation starts with talking to your baby during everyday moments, such as meal time, baths and diaper changes to name a few.
It is said that children are made readers in the laps of their parents. Families can help foster early language and literacy skills in many ways, beginning by reading everyday with babies from the day they are born.