After spending months in the womb, perceiving only changes in light and the shifting outline of shapes, hearing the thud of their mother’s heartbeat and the sound of her voice, the reality of the outside world for babies is vast and overwhelming. There’s so much to see, hear, feel, smell and taste! How to begin to make sense of it all? Books can help your baby do just this.
[words by Rhiannon Findlay, Associate Publisher at Happy Yak]
5 Reasons You Should be Reading With Your Baby
1. Black and white books help early visual development
During their first few weeks, babies see only in black, white and shades of grey, followed by high-contrast colours such as red and yellow.
Because their sight is not yet fully developed, what they see is blurry and indistinct. Illustrations with bold, clear outlines and repeating patterns, such as our Wee Gallery Forest and Ocean cloth books, attract your newborn’s attention and help their visual focus. It’s time to see a whole new world!
2. Touch-and-feel books aid sensory development
Babies begin to explore the world around them largely through the sensation of touch. Engaging, stimulating and endlessly fascinating, touch-and-feel books featuring different fabrics and textures provide a multi-sensory experience for your little one, while adjectives such as ‘soft’ or ‘bumpy’ help build their vocabulary as they grow. Be sure to check out the Wee Gallery touch-and-feel range: Tails, Scales, Ears and Wings.
3. Interactive board books boost motor skills
It’s no secret that babies need to do in order to learn, and novelty board books that encourage interaction, like feeding the gorilla a juicy papaya in our 3D pop-up book Hungry Jungle, are brilliant for early problem-solving as well as developing fine motor skills such as hand-eye co-ordination.
These types of books are not just for reading – they’re games that provide endless fun! Speaking of games: our foam-filled Tiny Cloth Books double up as stacking cubes, so whether your baby is a studious page-turner or more of a tower-toppler, these portable, collectible crowd-pleasers promise multiple forms of entertainment.
4. Early learning books introduce first concepts
It’s never too early to introduce your baby to core pre-school topics such as first words, numbers, abc, colours, shapes and opposites.
Not only will they love seeing different images and hearing the sounds of those words, they will begin to make associations and categorise items – for instance, associating a black-and-white animal with the word ‘cow’ (though, of course, some false connections will inevitably be made along the way – who knew a zebra goes ‘moo’?!).
It’s all a learning process – and it’s never too soon to start. Look out for Animal ABC, 123 and Colours by Nikolas lic, a vibrant series of boards books featuring hilarious animation-style illustrations.
5. Picture books are the perfect wind-down for bed
Picture books are for all ages. Whilst board books and cloth books are brilliant tools for play and interaction during the day, picture books are an ideal way of helping your baby settle down at bedtime and become accustomed to their daily routine of bath, book and bed.
Although they might not understand the story just yet, the sound of your voice will bring them security and comfort, as well as developing their sense of rhythm and rhyme and aiding visual literacy – the association between word and image.
By the time your baby becomes a toddler, bedtime stories will be playing a significant part in expanding their vocabulary. Snuggle up with sweet and funny stories that have a gentle rhythm, such as Never Brush a Bear by Sam Hearn.
Want to know more?
At Happy Yak, we understand the importance of supporting child development. Each of our pre-school series is underpinned by core developmental benefits, from interactive books that aid motor control through to first concepts such as words and numbers. We also understand that little hands can also be strong!
Our novelty board, bath and cloth books have been designed using sturdy, top-quality materials and mechanisms. From lift-the-flap to peep-through, sliders to pop-ups, babies and toddlers will love interacting with these playful books. Follow us on Instagram @happyyakbooks for new releases and behind-the-scenes content!