Reading is one of our favorite activities. It teaches many skills to Ila and entertains her. Each season I like to add seasonal themed books to her regular reading. Today I am sharing our books for fall reading for the year.
Ila is 9 months old and starting to get more interested in reading and learning. We have read to her since she was born and she loves to play with books, but more than ever she loves to be read to. One of my favorite ways to encourage reading in our home is by giving her access to plenty of books to play with and reading to her everyday. We keep a bookshelf loaded with books for Ila. Some are board books, some are more advanced picture books and some are even chapter books. I do not limit what I read to her based on her age. I like to change her books up regularly. We have our books that we always read but I love to change up some of her books with the season. Today I am sharing our books for fall reading.
My philosophy on learning in our home
In our home, not everything is structured learning time and probably never will be. Many lessons I learned growing up did not come from school but from watching my parents, being exposed to real life and being allowed and encouraged to explore. I was encouraged creatively in sewing, cooking, reading. I was taught practical life skills through exposure. None of this was necessarily taught by sitting at a desk and doing homework. In fact, very little of what I use now was. In my home I care for my family by cooking from scratch, sewing, cleaning and household management. While yes, this involves math which I did learn in school and find this important, cooking from scratch requires critical thinking and math practice. Sewing is the same. But by doing these activities it forces the brain to think critically about what you are creating.
I am no expert or a teacher and I did not complete any formal education on teaching or childhood development. I am just a mom trying to do what is best for her child. Therefore, teaching through exposure is the easiest way for me to teach my baby. I teach what I know and if I do not know the answer, I consult someone who does. Reading is such an easy way to teach because it is easy to make it fun.
What are the benefits to reading to your baby?
- Language Development- This is probably the most obvious but hearing words helps them learn to say them. They pick up on things such as tone of voice, how to move their mouth, how words and sounds are pronounced and even body language while communicating.
- Introduces basic concepts like numbers, the alphabet, colors, shapes, etc.
- Attention Span- Ila has definitely improved in how long she can pay attention to a book. Partly due to getting older but also we read a lot and she is learning to love this time together. Every week we can read a little longer and she interacts with books a little more.
- Promote loving to read- Creating an environment that is enjoyable will show your baby that reading is to be enjoyed, not dreaded.
- Bonding- reading to your baby is time spent focused on your baby building your relationship. The things you do with your baby at a young age will shape your relationship.
How to interact while reading to promote learning
Again, I am not an expert. But I have been working with Ila and she is learning new things everyday.
She loves picture books with animals and we point and talk about the sounds animals make. She laughs and tries to mimic the sounds I make and touches the animals when I point to them.
It is similar with numbers or letters. We have books that have pictures associated with counting or a certain letter. She loves to touch them when I point to them.
When we read, she enjoys the interaction of touching, pointing and sounds. These are ways to get your baby to interact and enjoy what you are reading by involving them.
What to read to a baby?
Anything and everything!
I read Ila board books and picture books that are easy for her to interact with but I also read her chapter books as well as my books that I am reading. Sure, she cannot interact as much with these and she does not know all of these words but I try to get as many words as I can. If I’m reading and she is around to hear, I read aloud for her to hear the words and see how my mouth moves. Even if it is not a children’s book or something they understand fully, they still pick up cues from being read to.
We go to the library once a week and I will pick up a range of books. I get a few picture books that are silly or have pictures that we can look at. But we also usually get a bigger, more advanced book such as Little House on the Prairie, Sarah Plain and Tall, Little Women, etc. This introduces more to her and is more interesting for me to read. I will also get myself a book or two and I read these to her some too if she is awake while I am reading.
How many minutes a day should you read to your baby?
Every morning, we sit and have read aloud time. She plays with books while I read to her. I do not limit this time but only read as long as she is willing to sit focused and happy. Some days this is 5 minutes and some days it is 30 minutes or more. It really just depends.
I do not put a lot of structure into this because of her age. I want to promote the love of reading so if she is happy and content, I will read. And if not, we find something else to do. Sometimes I will read to her while she eats a snack or is playing with her toys. She is occupied with that but will still pick up some of what I am reading in the background.
Our Books for Fall Reading
I love to change a few of our reads up for each season. We still read our normal books that she loves, I just like to add a few themed books. Many times this looks like getting books based around the season. For example, in the spring and summer we read a lot about flowers, gardening and animals. In the fall I like to choose fall themed books but also just cozier reads that may not be fall themed but fall inspired or set during fall. I like to incorporate a mix of books of all levels and topics. Some are chapter books with a great story line (hello Little House on the Prairie, we love you.), some are simple board books about leaves or changing seasons, and some are even medium level picture books about science that may lend itself to fall. I even read her my books because any words she hears are beneficial to her learning. I am more intentional about pictures, words and interactions with her books but I read anything and everything to her to promote learning in our home. The goal is to build a love for reading but more importantly learning.
- Little House on the Prairie– Laura Ingalls Wilder
- Red Leaf, Yellow Leaf– Lois Elhert
- Johnny Appleseed– Steven Kellogg
- Too Many Pumpkins– Linda White
- An Old Fashioned Thanksgiving– Louisa May Alcott
- Thanksgiving: A Harvest Celebration– Julie Stiegemeyer
- Apples and Pumpkins– Ann Rockwell
- Fall– Roger Priddy
- Thankful– Eileen Spinelli
- Autumn in the Forest– Rusty Finch