What would your little toddler love to listen to you read? Did you know that a baby starts learning even before the baby sees the first light in this world?
Reading to your baby
Hindu mythology has this interesting story that appears in the epic Mahabharatha.It says that Abhimanyu, son of Arjuna, a war strategy, while still in his mother Subhadra’s womb. He heard his uncle Krishna narrating it to his mother.
In more recent times, scientific research has discovered that prenatal babies respond to music. So, if babies respond to music prenatally, it is logical to assume that they will respond well to other such auditory stimuli, such as their mothers' reading a book to them.
Many parents love reading to their children, especially toddlers. As their curious faces glance across books with vivid pictures and listen intently to their parents' soothing voices, it becomes a very memorable moment for both parent and child.
Useful tips for parents
There are all kinds of books that might start your child on the path of a bibliophile - books with activities like - connect the dots and treasure hunts embedded in them, books shaped like toys, three-dimensional books and so on.
Here are a few tips that could help you build the ideal library for your little baby:
- Like grownups, babies also identify more with images than words. For the newborns and toddlers, picture books will be more stimulating. You could also consider character-based books such as Thomas the Tank Engine.
- Simple, short stories about birds, animals, flowers, plants, and people also grab the attention of your little baby
Dr. Seuss’s books are among the best for babies between the ages of 0-6 months. Limericks and rhymes are the best sources of bed-time or nap-time entertainment for your toddler.
Some of the other books that you could read to your little ‘man-cub’ are
- Chandu the Gentle Giant by Anju Pillai
- Granny’s Sari by Asha Nehemiah
- Dear Zoo by Rod Campbell
- Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed by Eileen Christelow
The Blue Umbrella by Ruskin Bond
An early start towards books and imagination
Books are known to take one to places that many can never dream of exploring. Your baby is naturally curious and creative. Hence, reading to your little toddler would only enhance his or her imagination and creativity.
Wondering how you could go about doing so effectively?
- Narrating the tale an appealing manner. Let your little baby grow more curious with every vivid expression of yours. You could even ask him or her a few rhetorical questions.
- Cuddle your babies when you read to them. This is will add more joy and happiness to the story-time experience.
- Allow your baby to narrate the stories themselves in their own ‘baby language’. Interestingly, research has shown that people who are very articulate in life are often ones who have been talked to a lot when they were young. Who knows, maybe your baby could be the next Mark Antony!
In the words of Albert Einstein - ‘If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales.’