Hello Mamas (& Papas) & Wee Ones. We are excited to launch our Books & Babies Wee Readers Book Club. Our official launch will be on Saturday, February 1, 2014.
Wee Readers is a book club for young “readers” newborns to five years old. Books & Babies programs exist in many libraries around the country. Zee and I enjoy our weekly library time in those programs. We decided to take it a bit further by starting a virtual book club with other families and babies. Families, that can’t make the library hours,mamas (and papas) who want to engage with other parents and wee readers, and to showcase why reading books in a world full of social media, electronics and TV is important today.
According to the Association of Library Services to Children (a division of the American Library Association), “It’s Never Too Early to Start. Because your baby’s brain is developing so quickly, the first year of life is critical. Research shows that babies who are read to in the first nine months of their lives are better prepared for school than babies who had little interaction with books.”
The books we select will be the start to an amazing library. As your child grows these books will become familiar to them beyond the pictures. Repetitive reading allows your child to become familiar with the sounds, words and eventually the characters and storyline. In the beginning, your infant may laugh, coo or grab at a certain book. Now picture them at 2 years old understanding, recognizing and being able to read that very book by the time they are 5. I already know which books my wee reader Zoë will love reading in the next few years. We will read books about letters, numbers, shapes, animals and ones with familiar characters too. We will also introduce new authors, books about history and culture and maybe even a cookbook or two. I know a few 4 & 5 year olds that love to make things in the kitchen with mama.
Enjoy reading time anytime of the day. Check out your local library’s children’s schedule. Enjoy that structured time then stay a while longer to enjoy your books of the month. Don’t forget to make an event out of getting their first library card. We will share a few ideas about what that looks like later. Read first thing in the morning, at bedtime, lunchtime or anytime in between. Engage older siblings to take part. Reading is just as important as a healthy diet, adequate sleep and even family game nights. Make it a part of your dinnertime ritual. Read in the car (when possible), while waiting in line at the grocery store or sitting in the waiting room at a doctor’s appointment. Read, read, read.
Wee Readers Club Steps to Success:
1. Consistency. Read to your child each day. Dedicate at least 30 minutes a day (even if broken up) to enjoy this time with your wee readers.
2. Be engaged. Turn off all distractions (phones, TVs, electronics.)
3. Read It! Sing It! Act It! Your babies will enjoy this. Don’t be afraid. You are already an award-winning author, singer, and actress in their eyes.
4. Let them participate. If they stop you to inquire, laugh, repeat a page, let them! If they grab the book and start chewing on it that’s ok too. Improvise and finish the story.
5. Let your wee readers see you read. If they are really young, read your book to them. They will love hearing your voice.
6. Soak it all in. You are building their reading and language strength along with self-esteem, confidence and best of all your relationship with your little reader.
Look out for giveaways for the wee ones and a little something for their adults too. So what books would you and your wee reader like to see on our reading list? Add your picks in the comments. We will be sure to include them. And don’t forget to subscribe to our mailing list for updates from the book club.