Babies and young children love being read to, it can offer a quiet time where you have a shared moment of interest. Children often enjoy sharing the same book over and over again this is because it becomes familiar to them and they know what is going to happen next. Sharing the same story can build anticipation, excitement and helps the child to eventually join in with you.
Sharing books with children at the earliest point helps develop their communication and language skills for example; taking turns in a conversation, eye contact, listening and attention and building vocabulary.
Interactive books are books with flaps, tabs, feely materials, or sound panels. These books are great for babies and toddlers, especially those who can be reluctant to look at books. Some interactive books tell stories others teach children facts. They can be a lovely accessible way of building up a child’s vocabulary and sentences.
Books with sound buttons can encourage babies and young children to copy the sounds with gentle modelling by the parent/carer.
Book sound: “Quack” ….
Parent/carer: "Quack (parent/carer points to the duck) Duck"
Parent/carer “Quack, the duck goes quack”.
Sharing a book together does not mean you have to start the book at the beginning and finish the whole story. You may just want to share what is on one page and talk about the pictures. Interactive books in particular are usually short and can offer lots of things to talk about on one page.
Following your child's lead when sharing a story is really important because it can help them to stay interested, enjoy the story more and can offer you an opportunity to talk. You might not end up finishing the story because the conversation or child's interest might lead on to something else.