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I have a 3 month old and I have just begun reading to her even though people tell me, there is still time. Reading as against regular story telling has better impact, I believe. Although, I do find my little one taking keen interest in my self woven stories as well. Why? Although self woven stories have an unparalleled imagination, reading out with expressions gives a baby reference to context. I recently bought A Very Hungry Caterpillar (I loved reading it more than my baby... Oh! I actually loved it because of her expressions), and I found that even though she still can't recognise patterns, she loves my voice modulation, the colours in the book, vaguely recognises shapes of different food items etc... and each time I read out the book to her, she notices something new.What's more, she likes sitting on my back and watches attentively as my expressions change. These, I believe are the first steps of identifying expressions, knowing there are different colours, objects etc.
Here are few things I have realised, with this new activity:
1) One should read at an angle where the child can see our face and the book, to corellate that there is a correlation between what we are saying and what's in the book.
2) Read books with big images as a baby's vision is still developing.
3) Use as many tools, hand muppets and more, to make your session interactive.
4) Point to different things as you refer to them, the baby may not look at where you point at first, but will realise soon.
5) You can use reading as a good tummy time activity.
I will keep adding to this list as I keep reading to my baby and as she develops new habits and I learn new tacticts.