Baby Read Aloud Basics, Caroline Blakemore and Barbara Weston Ramirez, AMACOM (2006).
I’ve mentioned before that I love this book, and this probably won’t be the last time, either. It’s got tons of good information in it. Unfortunately, I read it for a class after my daughter was out of her baby years. While I have always read to her, I wish I had read this book in time to really understand what to do and why I was doing it. I recommend this book as a baby shower gift for moms.
Anyway, one of the recommendations in the book is to make your own books. “The most valuable benefit of making customized books for your baby is being able to read aloud together about experiences and family members in your own personal environment. Imagine when your baby sees family members, favorite animals, foods, or herself as the star of your very own book!” (page 225).
This task may seem somewhat daunting at first, but when you think about it, there are many ways to make your own books. The simplest is to find a premade book that is waterproof and baby-friendly, such as this one. My own daughter had something like this, and we filled it with photos of family members. Since we live a good distance from most of our family, this was so helpful in teaching her who everyone was, and reminding her that there were so many who cared about her.
For you scrapbookers out there, you can make scrapbook pages about ABCs, numbers, animals, or baby’s daily activities. I would suggest keeping it simple and using a smaller book with covered pages so that it is harder for baby to destroy. (I’m trying to save you the heartbreak of creating a masterpiece worthy of Martha Stewart’s envy only to have baby rip it apart the first time she sees it!)
What prompted this blog, however, is a great deal that Kodak is running until October 17, 2011. You can get a 14-page small (5 x 7) photo book for FREE, paying only $2.99 to have it shipped. I just did it, and it only took me about an hour. It was so easy, and it would be perfect for a project like this. There are many different formats (you can put multiple photos on each page) and you can also add limited narrative text.
For the topic, you can choose anything–family and friends, ABCs, familiar places, or even just baby herself doing all her normal activities. Not only will this be good for baby now, but it’ll be a great keepsake in the future.