With many benefits linked to reading, it is important to seed a love for reading from young and to nurture reading habits in children, said National Library Board (NLB) Head (Early Literacy) Programmes and Exhibitions Fa’izah Ahmad at an askST @ NLB discussion on May 28, 2021.
Hosted by The Straits Times Journalist Venessa Lee, the discussion – How to use the school holidays to ramp up you PSLE revision - was done virtually on Zoom and broadcast on ST's Facebook page.
Ms Fa’izah said parents can spend time reading with children for using various NLB resources like books, eBooks, audiobooks, magazines and online resources. With that, NLB’s Babies Can Be Members Too programme is a great start for parents to embark their children’s reading journey.
Babies Can Be Members Too is NLB’s programme that allows parents to register their babies as library members. This programme aims to help parents inculcate a love of reading in their young children by providing them with the relevant knowledge and resources, and to encourage bonding between parents and children through reading at an early age.
Parents of babies born from January 2019 can apply for the membership via the LifeSG app or register online (for Singaporeans and PRs, a Singpass login is required.) Once the child is registered as a library member, parents can redeem an exclusive Baby Gift Pack at any participating public library, excluding library@orchard, library@esplanade and library@chinatown.
Designed to kick-start a baby’s reading journey, each pack contains one English book, one Mother Tongue book, one Rhymes & Songs Sing Along (Babies Edition) booklet, one Tummy Time Animals! brochure and one A Book A Day reading journal. The gift pack can be redeemed anytime before the child turns two, while stocks last.
While understanding the benefits of reading, Ms Fa’izah added that reading is a fun experience and children will remember the activities that they enjoy, associating it with happiness.
Parents are also welcomed to join the Baby Lapsit programme. In this 30-minutes session, parents will be introduced to simple songs, action rhymes and finger plays that they can use to interact and bond with their baby at home. These songs and rhymes are especially selected for babies under one, and incorporate gentle swaying and bouncing movements that babies enjoy.
With babies specifically, though they may not be able to understand words, babies do love familiar voices and thus joining the bonding fun and engagement with your little one creates a magical connection through these exciting plays.
AskST @ NLB is a collaboration between The Straits Times and the National Library Board.
Those who missed the Facebook broadcast can find the video at this website: https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=286782849781404. The talk was part of the askST @ NLB series, a collaboration between ST and the National Library Board (NLB).