There are several ways to introduce words, sentences and stories into your baby’s life—and do so without spending a lot of money. Creating the right learning environment for your child will encourage him to start recognizing words and letters with ease.
Play with coloring books. Many coloring books are actually miniature storybooks that contain words or short sentences. Allowing your infant to color in these books will help him recognize words and letters, and you can read along while he colors so he can start saying the words out loud.
Use reading software. Software programs that tell short stories or animated clips with subtitles can help your infant learn new words and practice them in a specific sequence. You can find reading software at your local library for free or purchase it from a store or online.
Play reading games online. There are dozens of websites that offer free reading lessons and interactive puzzles that can help your baby recognize sounds and words. Sit in front of the computer with your infant and work through the lessons together as you read out loud or listen to narratives.
Join a storytelling session at your local bookstore or library. Follow along with your own copy of the book or just watch the storyteller read directly from a book and highlight different words. This highly stimulating environment can also help your infant develop important social skills.
Use bath books. Bath time is an excellent opportunity to do something creative and encourage learning. Bath books are made with soft, waterproof materials and are relatively cheap. The short stories written with oversized words and designed in attractive colors can encourage learning and help your baby understand new words.
Download and print reading lessons from the Web. There are hundreds of educational websites and blogs for parents that feature lesson plans and activity pages. You can download and print these to create your own library of reading activities.
Watch “Sesame Street” and other television programs such as “Blue’s Clues.” These shows are designed to teach children to identify words, letters and symbols and develop language. Encourage your infant to watch these programs and read along or sing with the characters so that he learns new words.
Break up the day into different learning activities so your baby has time to absorb and process new information.
Reading out loud will help your infant understand and recognize new words.
Take the time to work through each reading level so your child has a chance to master her skills before moving to the next level.
Don’t put reading and learning on “auto pilot” with television and software; play an active role in your infant’s development as often as possible.
About the Author
Sabah Karimi is an experienced freelance writer who enjoys writing about lifestyle, parenting, and childhood education topics. Sabah runs a web copywriting and marketing consultancy business in Orlando, Florida.