How do you engage your baby, ages one to three, in reading? My answer, create a personalized wordbook of objects that interest your child.
Your child’s workbook should include words that you hear your child say or that you know are favorite objects, such as a favorite stuffed animal.
For example, your daughter might love saying spoon and bowl. (Mine did.) Glue photos of the actual objects that interest your baby to cardstock pages. Write below each photo the word to identify each object. You should include a personalized sentence. Underline the identifying word. For my daughter I wrote, “This is Bella’s bowl” and underlined the word “bowl”. To baby proof your baby’s book, slide each word page into a plastic sheet protector. Tape shut each sheet protector along the top and put the pages in a plastic binder.
Start with just 10 words!
Read the book to your baby several times a day. After a month, add ten more word pages with photos.
As your baby begins to read the words in her book, you can make a game of labeling with sticky notes the actual objects around your home, for example, high chair, toothbrush, and hairbrush. In our home, we labeled our dog. The key is to include words that interest your child.
As your child reads her book with you, she will begin to understand that written words have meaning. You can further emphasize this by touching each word individually as you read the sentence that goes with each word. This teaches your baby not only the directionality of reading from left to right, but also that each word has its own meaning and individual pronunciation.
Have fun making your child’s own personalized wordbook that she will want to read again and again. My daughter, who is nine, still looks at her wordbook from when she was a baby and enjoys knowing what she was interested in when she was so little.
How do you document your baby’s first words?