Make your own book/s for your tiny little one. I know this looks cheap, and it is, but for a quick book use the side of a cereal box, diaper box or any box that has strong contrasting colors or large black and white printing. Include at least one picture of a face. We found one on the other side of the cornflake box but you can print one out from our images or draw one on paper the glue it on.
Why a book like this?
The folded panels let the book stand up on its own. Baby can explore the graphics at his own pace. He can look away and come back at his leisure. He can focus on the patterns that interest him most.
The strong dark/light contrast helps baby begin building nerve pathways that form foundations for reading. As he begins to understand representations of light and dark he is preparing to distinguish letters and words.
Why faces? Learning is most effective when it begins at the level of a person’s interest and experience. The human face is of great interest to a newborn. By visually exploring a graphic or drawing of a face he builds the nerve pathways that help him understand the complex notion that a living three dimensional being can be represented by a symbol on a page. That’s huge!
This short clip shows Taj reading his first book. You can tell which graphic most interests him.
In the next video he is looking at a book constructed of new materials by our friends at United Way for their Welcome Baby program. Notice which image intrigues him most.
Below are some picture instructions for the no-cost book. We also have some black and white pictures and patterns you can use to either add to this book or create one like the one shown in the video above.
Here is the link to the black and white pictures and patterns:
Newborn-BW-graphics (Set your printer preferences to print horizontal – landscape.)
You can print these out to make your book. Cut them out and glue them onto bright colored cardstock squares and then onto a strip of white poster board (thin cardboard) about 7″ wide and 22″ long (18cm x 22cm). Glue pictures to both sides of the card strip so you can give your baby more variety by alternating sides. Laminate the book and it will last generations!
Here are the graphics in jpeg form in case PDFs don’t work for you.
Place the book in your baby’s crib or on a blanket or playmat on the floor during his quiet alert state. Place it about 8 – 12 inches or 20 – 30 cm away. Remember to alternate sides so that both eyes get the same amount of work. You will only need a few moments on each side before your baby is likely to tire but those short moments add up to a lot of nerve pathways! Enjoy! Let us know if you have any suggestions to add to this post. How have you used a newborn book? If you have used one what patterns interested your baby most?