Did you know that "book handling" is an important pre-reading skill? According to The National Center for Infants, Toddlers and Families, important early literacy behaviors for babies include those "related to a child's physical manipulation or handling of books, such as page turning and chewing. "
Most typically developing babies won't be able to turn pages of a board book until 9-12 months of age and won't turn single pages 12-18 months. Want to make book handling and play more fun for your baby before that time? Once a propped board book isn't propped for long, try this trick that I've used for years in my work as a pediatric Occupational Therapist to help kids turn pages and look at a board book more independently.
Wrap rubber bands around the spine of your book to separate a few of the pages. This will keep them from sticking together and help your little one to turn them long before she can separate them. Be sure to take the rubber bands off after each reading time so that they don't damage the spine of the book. Caution - rubber bands can snap and be swallowed. As with all CanDo Kiddo activities, closely supervise your baby for safety (eyes on baby within arm's reach).
Try this activity in Tummy Time to promote reaching during belly-down play, an important milestone typically occurring in the 6-7.5 age range. Learn more about infant developmental milestones from MamaOT. This also makes a great activity for babies who can sit or who are working on it. Learn ways to support a wobbly sitter in my guest post for MamaOT.
Looking for creative ways to play with your baby? Know someone who's expecting a baby and would enjoy learning about infant development through simple and fun activities to try with their little one?
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