Books and song are a powerful way to connect with babies

By Nicole Bannick, Camrose Canadian Lifestyles Contributor

The Books and Bounces program at the Camrose Public Library is a great way to engage with your littlest ones.

The Books and Bounces program at the Camrose Public Library is a great way to engage with your littlest ones.

Books and songs are powerful tools to promote bonding between parents and babies, and they contribute to healthy childhood development and early learning. Reading, talking, singing, and having conversations with newborns and young children are the best ways to build early language and literacy skills. 


Here are some tips for reading with young children: 

• Slow down and pause between sentences to give your child time to respond, whether it is with a coo, a giggle, or a pat on your cheek. This helps teach infants the “back and forth” nature of conversation.  

• Be a narrator all day, with daily events and tasks as the story you tell your child. Something as simple as making your evening cup of tea is an opportunity to help introduce some new words into their vocabulary. 

• Find the rhythm in books: children respond to rhythm and songs. Look for books you can sing or chant. It does not matter if you think you do not have a good singing voice; your child will love it! 

• Try to find a balance between books with brightly coloured illustrations and books that have photos of the real world. Books that contain photographs of objects as they appear in the real world will help your child learn the correlation between the words you are reading to them and the things they see in their life every day.  

• Look for quality board books built to survive an infant, because there will be chewing involved. Quality board books will have self-turning pages; when you turn one page, the next will pop up an inch or two, ready for your baby’s hand to turn it. These help your baby, whose fine motor skills are not yet developed enough to turn pages, understand how books work. 

• Playing with books makes reading fun: Be engaging and animated as you read, play peek-a-boo with them, keep a stack of sturdy board books on a low shelf within your child’s reach once they become mobile. 

• Books, songs and rhymes that you use consistently for daily transition periods like mealtime, bath time, and bedtime become a signal to your baby of what to expect and makes your routine much more calm and smooth. 

The library has a large collection of board books that you can borrow with your library card as well as opportunities to learn more about early learning and literacy through programming. Books and Bounces is a free, drop in program for infants and their parents or caregivers, and it runs every Tuesday at 10 a.m. Come explore and learn with us and other families! 

The library is open Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturday from 11 a.m. to

5 p.m.; and Sunday from 1-5 p.m. The library is closed all weekend days of statutory holidays. 

Nicole Bannick is the Program Coordinator of the Camrose Public Library. Outside of work, she enjoys time with her family, baking, comic-cons, and cheesy 16-bit role playing games. 


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