Have you seen the expressions on a baby or young child's face as they discover and learn new things? Every shared reading, talking, singing and playing interaction with your child adds up to have a big impact. These nurturing and informal learning interactions build the basis for healthy brain development from birth. When a baby mouths the corner of a board book, gazes at a book's illustrations, or feels the pages of a textured children's book, they're creating the building blocks for the next stages of learning and development.
- Everyday activities are the best way for your baby to learn. Point out and talk about what your baby can see or hear during the day.
- Share stories with your baby every day. Read slowly. It’s OK to skip pages or just talk in your own words about the pictures.
- The best toy for a baby is you. Let your baby see your face. Crouch down, lift up or sit next to your baby when talking, sharing stories and playing.
- Babies need time to express themselves. Pause to give your baby time to communicate, then respond to your baby’s sounds and actions.
- Talk to your local library staff about great books specifically for the development stage of your baby.
Toddlers and Preschoolers
- Toddlers and preschoolers learn best from talking, playing, and singing with us. Best of all, this can happen any place and any time.
- Talk about what you’re doing, what you can see, and what interests your child.
- Share or tell stories that interest your child. Repeat favourites again and again.
- If you come across an unfamiliar word, don’t substitute or skip it. Instead, show your child a picture, the real object, or an action that lets the child know what the word means.
- Point out any letters or words you see. Talk about street signs, posters or labels when shopping, and show children recipes and instructions as you follow them together.
- Visit your local Iibrary and enjoy a free Story Time session.