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Learning Activities For Your Baby

Books and Babies - For babies from age 6 weeks to 1 year Sharing books is a way to have fun with your baby and to start him on the road to becoming a reader. What You Need Cardboard or cloth books with large, simple pictures of things with which babies are familiar Lift-the-flap, touch- and-feel, or peek-through play books (For suggestions, see Resources for Children,

What to Do?

Read to your baby for short periods several times a day. Bedtime is always a good time, but you can read at other times as well--while you're in the park, on the bus, or even at the breakfast table (without the food!).

As you read, point out things in the pictures. Name them as you point to them. Give your baby sturdy books to look at, touch, and hold. Allow him to peek through the holes or lift the flaps to discover surprises. Babies soon recognize the faces and voices of those who care for them. As you read to your baby, he will begin to connect books with what he loves most--your voice and closeness.

Continue talking with your older child as you did with your baby. Talking helps him to develop language skills and lets him know that what he says is important.

What to Do

The first activities in the list below work well with younger children. As your child grows older, the later activities let him do more. However, keep doing the first ones as long as he enjoys them.

Talk often with your toddler. When feeding, bathing, and dressing him, ask him to name or find different objects or clothing. Point out colors, sizes, and shapes.

Talk with your child as you read together. Point to pictures and name what is in them. When he is ready, ask him to do the same. Ask him about his favorite parts of the story, and answer his questions about events or characters.

Teach your toddler to be a helper by asking him to find things. As you cook, give him pots and pans or measuring spoons to play with. Ask him what he is doing and answer his questions. ??

Whatever you do together, talk about it with your child.

When you eat meals, take walks, go to the store, or visit the library, talk with him. These and other activities give the two of you a chance to ask and answer questions such as, "Which flowers are red? Which are yellow?" "What else do you see in the garden?"Challenge your child by asking questions that need more than a "yes" or "no" answer.

Listen to your child's questions patiently and answer them just as patiently. If you don't know the answer to a question, have him join you as you look for the answer in a book. He will then see how important books are as sources of information.

Have your child tell you a story. Then ask him questions, explaining that you need to understand better.

When he is able, ask him to help you in the kitchen. He might set the table or decorate a batch of cookies. A first- grader may enjoy helping you follow a simple recipe. Talk about what you're fixing, what you're cooking with, what he likes to eat, and more.

Ask yourself if the TV is on too much. If so, turn it off and talk!

Anil Vij is the creator of the ultimate parenting toolbox, which has helped parents all over the world raise smarter, healthier and happier children ==> http://www.expertsonparenting.com

Sign up for Anil's Experts On Parenting Newsletter - just send a blank email ===> mailto: parentingnews@aweber.com

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