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  • How To Choose The Right Baby Books For Your 6-Month-Old: ‘Look For Real Pictures’

    Vocabulary is best illustrated with actual pictures, says an expert.
    by Kitty Elicay .
How To Choose The Right Baby Books For Your 6-Month-Old: ‘Look For Real Pictures’
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  • Experts have said that establishing a reading routine with your child for 20 minutes a day can help activate an important part of their brain, which involves understanding the meaning of words and helps your child learn concepts tied to memory. Reading to your child starting at 6 months can also boost vocabulary and reading skills until preschool age, according to a study.

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    If you’ve committed to a reading habit with your little one, what kind of books should you be looking for? For babies 6 months old, Vanessa Bicomong, director of the Learning Library, an enrichment and tutorial center that specializes in reading and Filipino language skills, suggests getting board books with real pictures instead of illustrations.

    “Studies show that books with actual pictures and not illustrations are actually very good for your children,” she shares on the fourth episode of SmartParenting.com.ph’s How Po? online webinar titled, “Become Your Child’s Best Teacher! How To Do Preschool At Home.”

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    “Hanap rin tayo ng mga libro na hindi lang puro drawing. Sana meron din that have actual pictures. Minsan kasi hindi mo alam kung anong animal ‘yan kapag drinawing. Pero kapag may picture ng aso, vocabulary is best illustrated with actual pictures,” she says.

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    According to a 2014 study from the University of London, babies discover and learn about the world indirectly through books with real photographs. For example, if you read your little ones a book featuring pictures of real animals like a dog or cat, then they can associate it with their daily experiences, like if they see the family pet or if they see other animals outside. Then they’ll know that the objects they see in books have names and meaning.

    3 kinds of books that you can read to your 6-month-old

    Here are some elements in books to look out for if you’re choosing titles for your baby.

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    Board books.

    These sturdy books are perfect for your child’s small hands (and their stronger grips!). Find ones with nice pictures, suggests Vanessa, or lay out the board books for your baby to choose — “Yung interesado siyang tignan,” she adds.

    Touch and feel books.

    At 6 to 12 months, your baby starts to get grabby and put everything in their mouths — it’s how they explore and learn about their environment. Touch-and-feel books have different materials and textures — “Yung may fur, merong crinkly, may salamin,” Vanessa says — that are all shown in context and can help stimulate your little one's senses and help them understand the world around them.

    Bouncy and repetitive rhymes.

    Baby books usually have simple art and very simple text — around one or two words per page. And a lot of them have repetition and bouncy rhymes. “Those are books that babies like,” Vanessa says. “The child is excited dahil maraming nangyayari na actions. It’s something that the experience — tumatalon rin sila sa bed. It’s very simple artwork, and bouncy, repetitive rhymes.”

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    Vanessa says that parents shouldn’t force babies to learn the alphabet. “Huwag natin ipilit ‘yung ABC — enjoyment naman ‘to. I highly recommend books with real pictures, nice colors, good art that you like and a subject that your child likes — fairies, princesses, dinosaurs, pare-pareho lang naman ‘yun.”

    If you have questions on reading or if you’re struggling with teaching your kids at home, watch our webinar below and let our experts help you plan better and teach your children confidently!

    READ THESE STORIES ON BABY BOOKS

    Want to learn how to tell a story like a professional? Click here to watch our Read Aloud series!

    Get exclusive access to Smart Parenting’s online webinars, expert talks, and lives! Register here and be the first to know about Smart Parenting Events.

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