Children of all ages enjoy being read to, as well as, listening to any kind of story. Most people might assume that infants do not benefit from being read to when in fact, they most definitely do. Infants enjoy hearing stories over and over because it helps them become familiar with words, sayings or phrases. This repetitive action is key in helping infants and small children with their communication skills.
Storytelling is a simple way of making talking and interacting fun, interesting and enjoyable. When an infant is excited, they express their emotions several ways. They could either babble, move around or just simply show what they are feeling in their facial expressions. The more the child or infant hears the familiar sounds of a story, the more he or she will vocalize or use gestures to signal that they would like to hear the story again.
Using highly repetitive elements such as made up stories, in addition to books, will aide in the infant's familiarity with words and phrases. If you are excited while reading or telling the story, the infant will enjoy the story to the fullest. There is never too much exaggeration or too many expressive sounds to go along with a story! Infants and children cannot get enough and will enjoy interacting with you even more than they already do.
Make sure to keep the story simple, short and repetitive when choosing what to read for the infant. Three or four sentences should be enough for an infant's first story. Keep in mind that the child does not necessarily need to understand the story being told and that it is a fantastic idea to include the child in every aspect of the storytelling. The whole idea is for the child to hear the same words and phrases over and over. Storytelling can really create a whole new bond with you and a child of any age.
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