Monday, February 13, 2012

Valentine Books and Reading with Chip

I took Susie to storytime at our local bookstore on Saturday, and she had a great time listening to Valentine's stories, eating cookies and making a little craft.  The store is called A Reader's Corner and just moved to a new location on Frankfort Avenue, which is great!  They give each child a free book for attending the reading. . . WOW!  When I flipped through the basket of free books, I was delighted to come across a little flocked book about a deer named Tuffer from 1959.  It has a chipmunk in the story, so I knew it was the one for us.  I knew that if I took Susie to the bookstore, I'd probably let her choose a book, but I ended up choosing one for Chip as well. :)  Sus picked a Strawberry Shortcake Valentine book, which is ok, but I found a cute board book called "Kiss Kiss" for Chippy.  The baby hippo forgets to kiss his mommy until he sees the other baby animals kissing their mommies. . . ohhhhh, so cute!  This is a CHIEF reason to shop at your local bookstores!  They will have a variety of books that you didn't even know about, and it is ohhhh so fun to discover a new book.

I've tried to be more intentional about reading to Chip and giving him books to play with.  I read to Susie quite a bit at his age, and sometimes he gets left out because Susie chooses longer stories that he can't always enjoy, or that he wants to grab and bite or tear.  As you can imagine, Susie is not a fan of this!  So here are my little tips about reading to a baby when he is your second child:

1. Read during 1 on 1 time.  Chippy has time alone with me in the afternoon while Susie is still napping.  That's when I give him books to play with and read him little board books where I let him turn the pages, or take it away from me altogether.  It is book exploration, and it will lead to him learning how to turn pages, and enjoy the pictures on his own.  

2. When you have together storytime, try to situate the baby like this -- have him sit by older children, maybe on a blanket, and give him a small book to hold, or maybe a toy to chew on.  Then sit across from the children, and hold up the book facing them.  Chip has caught on quickly to direct his attention to the pictures and turning pages, so we have enjoyed several medium length books like this.  I wouldn't do our Winnie the Pooh collection just yet, but something with lots of big pictures and frequent page turns.  He, at 9 months, is seeing that reading together is something we enjoy as a family.  I include him in the questions and sound making (for example -- "can you make a kiss sound Chippy?  Can you make a kiss sound Susie?").  Of course he doesn't answer but Susie does and I do it, and often he grins at us.  He will join in before long.  I don't want to just ignore him as if he's not sitting there reading with us.

side by side exploration
3. Side by side exploration -- this is where I give them both books to look at while they are playing together.  This way he can see what she's reading, and have something of his own.  Now sometimes this will fall into him trying to get her book, or her deciding to take his to read to him (which he gets ticked about, understandably), so I have to facilitate this time.  Generally it works well, and he will explore his book while she "reads the pictures" of her own.  Here's a precious picture I snapped of them reading together this morning.

No comments: