Thursday, 16 August 2012

Read to Little Ones Using Books, not Apps!

Here’s the thing. I don’t believe that my child, or any child will learn to read on an ipad or using some fancy app. Sure, when reading is established and they are fluent readers then of course, it’s the way of the future, a great tool that is useful and convenient. But for now, please, don’t take away picture story books!

Being a teacher of junior students, my baby was read to in the womb at least 3 times a day and constantly heard my voice. When he was born he liked to hang around and breastfeed for one hour sessions and day time TV just didn’t cut it so I would read to him Peter Rabbit. They were given to me as a gift and I loved that they were small enough to fit into the palm of my hand but had plenty of text in them.

As the months went by my son developed ‘favourite’ books. Whenever I started to read The Big, Hungry Caterpillar he would laugh at every page and squeal in delight. His current favourite is Hairy Mclairy from Donaldson’s Dairy.

Holding a book in your hands, turning the pages, pointing at pictures and text and feeling their surfaces, whether the book be soft, hard, large or small. All these things simply cannot compete with reading from a handheld screen.
Thomas engaging in text at 9 and a half months

Of course, reading picture story books aloud comes naturally to me as it is part of my job so if you think you want to read more to your child and you’re not sure where to start here is my quick guide;

* Embrace your inner child! Get down on the floor with your baby, use silly voices, laugh outrageously, and make faces. Your baby will probably look at you as if they have seen the purple people eater if you've never done this before but they are sure to gain amusement over time.

* Read something you enjoy too. Maybe it was that book you enjoyed as a child yourself or maybe you love to read the Better Homes and Gardens magazine. It doesn’t really matter what you are reading as long as you are using lots of expression in your voice and face when you do it.

* Edible books are the best! Be sure to have some cloth books at hand for your baby to play with. It may not seem like it but over time they do make the connection that this is a book, with pages to turn, pictures to see and words to read. The earlier they make that association the better reader they will become!

* Establish a good time to read to your baby. Try not to read to your baby when they are overtired or busy doing something else. Find a time that works for you. We don’t do bedtime stories because my baby gets too excited and won’t go to sleep afterwards! But if you find reading relaxes your baby then be sure to make it part of your bedtime routine.

So, how do you read to your kids? Did you try reading in the way I described and how did it go? Please share with me here!

Posted to FYBF


  1. The magic happens when your 2yo starts finishing the sentences...

  2. I can't wait for that beautiful moment! When you see their brain 'click'
    Thanks for reading and commenting :-)

  3. Oh, I hear you! The iApparatus have their place, sure, but we have probably hundreds of children's books, REAL books on the shelves and our kids are obsessed with them. It's funny your kids won't go to sleep because they're so excited by them. At the mo, Inky is obsessed with Where's Wally. She wanders around the house, going "Waaaaaaaweeeeee?" So cute, it kills me.

  4. Haha, that is gorgeous. Love Where's Wally, what a classic! I keep hearing, "why don't you try a bedtime story to help him wind down?" Tom is so hyperactive. He starts laughing as soon as you show him a book, and does so at every turn of the page! Maybe that's my fault for being far too animated when I read to him lol.

  5. I use silly voices sometimes. I love how we're at the age where I can let them finish off a sentence. It's such an awesome time to see them so engrossed in their books. Loving and cherishing every moment.

    1. That's so fantastic Grace. Tom isn't up to the stage where he is finishing sentences, or using sentences for that matter lol, but I look forward to the moment. Thanks for reading :-)

  6. I am so with you. I've resisted the iPad push until today. I went and bought one - after multiple (and I mean every single one) Paediatric specialists and therapists all asked if we had one, or why we weren't using 'said app' for our 6yr old's Global Developmental Delay and Auditory Processing Disorder, coupled with substantial gross motor delay. Oh and a high risk of ADD / ADHD. Yes...computers are absolutely the right solution...NOT! I'm very pensive about letting my Miss6 on the new iPad. Fingers crossed all the various Specialists are right. But I will never ever forego the real thing - paper books - in favour if Apps.

  7. Wowsers, I'm a bit sad to read this! However my experience has been that children with learning/behavioural difficulties can learn really well from computers/technology etc, and perhaps your miss6 will love it so much that she will indeed gain from it...but what happens when the novelty wears off? Also, nothing is going to compensate for 1:1 talking, engaging and asking of questions to assist Auditory Processing Disorder :-( That's my rant on the issue.

    I have taught children with auditory processing disorder before and having speakers around the classroom connected to a microphone I wore really helped them to 'tune in' to what I was saying. Unfortunately the excess noise in a classroom really doesn't help those little ones, and thus, their learning suffers. Good luck and happy reading!