Fill your kete with knowledge on supporting whānau
Get what you need to support whānau in your community
Build a thriving village raising children together
Reading books with baby is a good way to get them interested in books and spend time with them.
The major emphasis with books and babies at this stage is about sharing and enjoying time together with stories and language, rather than learning to read.
Parents can read anything with baby – magazines, junk mail, the bus timetable, a recipe, the newspaper… just remember baby will want to use their mouth to explore them.
Ask the whānau:
In the Whakatipu booklet Te Pihinga 2 (page 4), pēpi says:
‘I want to explore books. I like to put them in my mouth, chew on the cover and turn pages.’
On page 6, whānau say:
‘We share small chunky books with hard pages and brightly coloured pictures. Adding lots of sounds or making up stories helps to keep pēpi interested.’
These quotes tell us that babies start by ‘playing’ with books, and they learn a lot through their mouths. The main thing is for baby to think playing with a book is fun.
However, mouthing or chewing them is not the only way babies can enjoy books, and adults and older siblings can encourage baby to focus in other ways.
If baby has had enough, that's fine. Take the cue from baby and try again later.
When whānau share a book with baby, they provide a rich (multi-sensory) learning experience for baby through:
The most suitable books for a baby during this stage are books that:
Here’s an example of how you can introduce a photo book activity to whānau:
‘We can make a simple book for baby using some photos or magazine pictures and a small photo book' (or ‘brag book' with plastic pages).
‘We could write some simple captions to go with the photos.’
‘Look at [pēpi] (write baby’s name).’
‘Look at Māmā. Look at the kurī.’
Baby wall frieze – Pānuitia taku tino kōrero anō anō – read my favourite story again and again
Six things children need – Te ārahi me te māramatanga – guidance and understanding
I love familiarity and predictability, it makes me feel safe and secure.