Reading with children

a blog by Magic Tales

child reading

Read, Bond, and Prep: A Guide on How to Talk to a Child About a New Brother

Having a new member in the family is exciting. A new life, like a book full of blank pages, ready to be filled with stories of laughter, joy, and growth. However, let’s not forget the first-born who might have mixed feelings about their new role as a big sister or brother. Sharing the news with them could be quite overwhelming. Luckily, we have our favourite companion at hand - books. In this article, we’ll explore some wonderful children's books that can help you discuss the arrival of a new brother with your child, preparing them for this exciting new chapter in their lives.

Picture Books about New Siblings
Science has shown that reading has many cognitive benefits. Not only does it improve a child's vocabulary, but it also helps them understand different emotions – which would be beneficial at this time. So, let’s dive into some children's books that would be perfect for your little one to grasp the concept of having a new sibling.
'There's a House Inside My Mummy' by Giles Andreae and Vanessa Cabban, is a sweet and funny rhyme that explains why mummy is getting bigger and gently prepares your child for the imminent arrival of a new sibling.
'Za-za's Baby Brother' by Lucy Cousins. This book is ideal for toddlers who are about to become older siblings. It illustrates the mixed feelings that Za-za has when a new baby brother arrives.

Story Telling
Apart from reading these books, make the topic a recurring theme in your daily storytelling sessions. Personalize stories where your child is the main character, who becomes a superhero overnight with the arrival of a little brother. However, while the superhero duties include helping with the baby, they also get to teach their younger sibling about their favorite toys and games.

Leveraging the Power of Play
Play-based learning is crucial in early childhood development. Why not use this as an opportunity to use dramatic play as a teaching tool? Involve your child in 'playing house' games where they act as the big sister or brother. You could even consider getting a baby doll as a 'practice' baby and read baby books together on how to care for infants. 'We Have a Baby' by Cathryn Falwell and 'What Baby Needs' by William Sears, Martha Sears, and Christie Watts Kelly are some wonderful choices.

Finally, remember that every child would have a unique reaction. Some might be excited, others might be confused or even a bit jealous. Reading books and engaging in conversations about this change will only make the transition easier.

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