raising a baby book lover
I aspire to raise a book lover. I like to think that I have been ruthless and cunning in my strategy. When we were setting up his nursery, we installed his book shelves down low so that Aro could reach it. In the newborn days when Aro was learning to focus and could only appreciate sharp contrasts, I would tuck these Wee Gallery books (here and here) along the side of his bassinet or in front of him during tummy time. I would also read him touchy-feely books like That's Not My Puppy while running his fingers over the surface.
I also learnt about the importance of talking a lot to your baby (2,100 words per hour according to a book by John Medina which I highly recommend, Brain Rules for Baby). So I killed two birds with one stone by "reading" This Is Not A Book by Jean Jullien a lot to him, describing what he was seeing, making the noises, and showing him how to flip the pages.
I would make a big deal out of reading in front of Aro, making it look tempting so that when he became more mobile, he would always come over to investigate. We co-sleep during nap times and when I knew he was about to wake up, I would pick up a book and start reading so that when he woke up, the first thing he saw was me reading. Books are also a part of his entire day, not just before bedtime.
I also made sure he was familiar with the library. We're lucky in Wellington to have a central city library with an enormous kids section full of giant foam blocks, toys, dollhouses, lots of board books for babies, and heaps of room to roam. There are spaces reserved for families and kids and the librarians run great story times and singalong sessions. It was also at the library where a mum showed me how to teach Aro to turn a page.
Around six months, I started incorporating books with noises and flaps to recapture his interest and start teaching him object permanence. He's never seen an episode of Paw Patrol but he sure likes the steering wheel and buttons in the Paw Patrol Pups & The Pirate Treasure book. The Noisy Peekaboo Zoo combines noise and flaps. I still remember how delighted we all were when one night, out of nowhere, he reached out and lifted the felt flaps in his Where's Mr Owl book. Whenever he lifted a flap, his dad and I would whoop and clap and he would grin and jiggle up and down on his bum with delight. It's such a lovely memory.
Aro's Favourite Books
- Peter Rabbit Touch and Feel Playbook - He is obsessed with this book. There's stuff to feel, flaps to lift, and different pictures. He has to touch the corrugated cardboard rectangle, lift the flap to see himself in the mirror, scratch the glittery orange sun and lift the lettuce leaf to check on the sleeping bunny underneath.
- Off to the Park Activity Book - There's a scratch and sniff panel in here! And it taught Aro how to undo shoelaces which is great when I've just tied mine up and he crawls over to undo it.
- Emma: A Babylit Emotions Primer - I got this book out of the library for me rather than Aro but he loves this book. So much that I think I have to buy it. He likes when we act out the emotions and he loves turning the pages and checking out the faces.
- What Does Doggy Want - Aro genuinely giggles when the dog shakes his head.
- My Little World Moo - Aro loves it when I hold this book up to my face, peer through the eye holes and make animal noises.