There are many things you can do to help make sure your babies grow up to be readers and writers. Don't wait until they are school age to begin planting the seeds of success; start the day your baby is born!
- Talk to your baby! Help your baby's language skills form and grow by constantly talking to your baby. Point things out and tell your baby what you are doing. Your baby may not be able to talk back to you yet, but he or she will be eagerly taking in all you have to say.
- Expose your baby to different places, people, and things. Bring your baby with you whenever possible, and talk about what you see, hear, etc. If you can't actually go many places, expose your baby to pictures of places, and talk about what you see.
- READ BOOKS to your baby! It's really important to read to babies. Stick to little board books until they are old enough to comprehend more. Try to collect as many as possible to have on hand, and put them down on the floor where your baby can reach them. When you are reading to your baby, point to the pictures as you see them and tell your baby what you are pointing to. Read the text as well. It will help your baby get more familiar with the sound of language. It will also help your baby increase his or her vocabulary.
- Stimulate your baby with educational toys. When you can't actually sit with your baby, make sure you leave safe toys nearby that your baby can pick up and explore.
- Keep "baby books" around and within reach. Don't worry about books with pages and text, but do make sure your baby has "baby books" to touch, feel, and look at. You can get the cloth kind or the plastic kind. Babies often love the ones with mirrors, faces, and different textures. Bold colors are favorites as well.
- Feed your baby nutritious food. Proper nutrition is needed for the brain to develop to its full potential. Make sure your baby gets what he or she needs to be properly nourished.
- Expose your baby to music! Music is a great way to expose your baby to rhythm and rhyme. Let your baby listen to classical music, kids songs, finger plays, etc. If you can play an instrument, expose your child to live concerts as well.