It is our evolutionary instinct to love babies. Their big eyes, chubby cheeks, sweet smell and cooing sounds make them irresistible to most grown ups. But what do babies love? Babies love to snooze, snuggle, and suckle. And they love to look at pictures of other babies! So in this week's story time, we read a bilingual book that features all the things babies love to do.
Scientific research shows babies' cuteness sets off a potent protective mechanism that ensures survival for otherwise completely dependent infants. When grown humans see babies, they are triggered to have a hardwired, primarily maternal, caregiving response, and researchers are now learning that cuteness actually sets off unique brain activity.
But as babies grow and develop, they need much more than food, water, and shelter. Once these basic needs are met, the next step is to develop baby brains, and research shows the best way to do this is to read to them. That's why we share a story time each week with you!
This week's story time bilingual is our most interactive video yet. With big photos and an easy-to-follow text, this Spanish and English story will give you all the feels.
Now that Maya and Mateo are growing and maturing, I'm trying out some dialogic reading strategies with them. Dialogic reading is the process of talking about the book as you read it with children, ultimately having a "dialogue: with kids around the text they are reading. It includes asking questions to help children connect with the text at a deeper level, including defining new words, analyzing the components of a story and being able to talk about the text. Check out our video above to see how to use these strategies with pre-readers.
For more information on dialogic reading, check out the Strengthening Families Newsletter and The Early Childhood Alliance video Road Trip series #1 Dialogic Reading (which features some of your favorite emerging bilinguals!)