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Books Build Better Brains - Board Books & Babies

Updated: Dec 27, 2023

Develop your infants brain through early literature and discover the magic of Dialogic Reading, Joint Attention, Relational Health and so much more!

Toddlers love books, but have you ever considered the benefits of reading to your child from age zero?–It's never too early to start reading with your baby!

Early reading is the key!

Children Books in the Snake River Library
Children Books

Welcome to the Snake River School/Community Library blog where literacy meets community growth. In our efforts to bring the best literature to our wonderful community, our librarians (Ms. Karrie & Ms. Christine) recently attended a statewide summit in order to bring the best and upcoming information that science and the medical field have to offer that supports brain development in children! Why? All of our librarians are not just book worms, we are also mothers. We understand the passion parents/guardians have to set forth their little-ones on a path of success and advancement. Most of you are familiar with the general benefits that storybooks bring to children...but sharing the gold nugget of this year's summit adds a whole new fundamental depth.

Today's blog was inspired by one of this years summit speakers, Dr. Dipesh Navsaria (Pediatrician with a children's librarianship degree). Dr. Navsaria combines medicine and children's books to show the world how, "books build better brains, better family relationships, and healthier, happier children..."

A Quick Guide to Early Literacy

In this blog we will share with you the three underlining benefits of early reading. We will dive into what early reading with your infant and baby can look may not be what you're expecting. Finally, we will share a few websites that will give you ideas on how to start, along with a link to the Reach Out and Read podcast where Dr. Navsaria, "dives into a wealth of varied early childhood health and literacy topics with expert guests."

What are the best books for infants/babies/toddlers?


How do children's books help build better brains?

Dialogic Reading, Joint Attention and Relational Health. What are they and what role do they play in the developing mind?

Dialogic Reading: This is a reading technique that increases language development and vocabulary. It helps children become better equipped to identify letters, sound structure, story and language structure, sustained attention, writing skills and so much more. The very core of dialogic reading is to have a conversation with your little about a picture book. The best part is, there are so many ways to do this! To get you started here is a great link with ideas and a guide on how to explore ways that will interest your child.

Joint Attention: This is not only shared focus of baby and a loving adult on a book they enjoy, it is the interactive bonding that comes along with it. Books are tools that can bring shared giggles, knowledge, interactive entertainment, clapping and more to your joint time and attention with baby. Here are a couple of links that have additional info on how important this is in developing the growing brain: link and link

Early Relational Health: This is activities that create closer relationships between guardians and the children they care for. Early Relational Health has a significant impact on the development of a child throughout their childhood and continues on into adulthood. It instills a feeling of safety and security for children in a world that seems so big and scary. Introducing books to your infant is a great place to start. Click here for more information on the how Early Relational Health improves brain function.

What are the best books for infants, babies, & toddlers?

There are many different ways to develop Joint Attention and Early Relational Health and utilize Dialogic Reading. For now we are going to stick to what we know best and that's BOOKS! Let's break it down to what books are best and for what ages, and some ideas on how to go beyond reading the words.

Infants: Brightly colored picture books. Bright colors help develop eyesight and focus. It introduces to them how speech is ordered, introduces vocabulary, how sounds are made and formed. In addition, they are comforted with the cuddles and sound of your voice. Using books as part of a bedtime routine creates stability and promotes and indication for when it is sleepy time.

Babies: Board Books and soft books! They are designed with toddlers in mind. Nursery Rhyme board books are a great option. Babies love the rhythm of the words. They love the bright colors and the fun glossy pictures. They can explore and discover the texture of the book, the sound they make by smacking it with their tiny hands and how one page pops up when they push the opposite side down. Enjoying a book with your baby is more than just sitting together and reading to them. You can let them hold the book (soft books are best for this but board books are good too when supervised). They will learn through experimenting, like what happens when they let it go and wave it up and down, This also helps their eye hand coordinating by reaching for and maneuvering the book.

Toddlers: For all the reasons above, board books are still a great option. They are built for toddler use and abuse. This is a great time to introduce the parts of a book: cover, back, pages, beginning, end, etc. They can build dexterity by learning to turn pages. They extend their vocabulary by pointing to pictures that interest them and receiving the name. Toddler also love silly voices or even just fluctuations in your voice for different characters in the book. You can count pages, introduce colors, ask them questions about the pictures, use words to describe fun sounds: splat, boom, crash... You can sing the words, have them "read" the book to you by describing what they see on each page. They absorb so much information by interacting with books.

How can I find more information on child brain development?

There are so many resources on the many ways books can be utilized to enhance brain development. Here are a few we have found that expand on the significant benefits of early reading and steps on how to get you started. In no time you will find the activates that best engage your baby in reading. You may even create your own along the way. When you do, reach out to other moms and share the exciting things you have discovered with them. As the old saying goes, "it takes a village to raise a child."

Let us help you on your journey! Having a community library near you means having hundreds of children books at your fingertips to check out. If we do not have the book your looking for, let us know. Chances are we can get it in for you!

Check out the links below:

Best Books for Babies & Toddlers
Download PDF • 1.18MB

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