BABY BOOKS TEACH CONCEPTS OF SPATIAL ORIENTATION
Reading books teach babies more than just how to say new words. When selecting books for baby’s first library, think about what concepts the books are teaching. Some books teach colors or numbers, some teach the names of animals, and others stimulate the senses through touch and feel. Some of our favorite baby books teach concepts of spatial orientation. This means that baby learns the difference between on and off, in and out, under and above, and more. Baby learns these concepts in the context of the environment. For example, in “Dear Zoo” by Rod Campbell the animals hide under the rug, behind a door, and more. In Campbell’s story, the words “under” and “behind” are concepts of spatial orientation and the objects “the rug” and “a door” are the locations in the environment where these concepts occur.
BERENSTAIN BEARS BABY BOOKS
An outstanding baby book for teaching spatial concepts is “Inside, Outside, Upside Down” from the beloved Berenstain Bears collection. The main bear of the story takes a trip to town “inside a box” that gets placed “upside down” and “on a truck.” Baby learns the concepts of inside/outside a house as well as inside/outside a box. You can listen to a reading of the story in the above youtube video from NatalieStarfish’s youtube channel. A clear understanding of where one is in space is one of the most important aspects of motor skill development. This understanding develops a much higher level of skill in a child’s movement ability. Begin teaching these concepts early through baby books.
Inside, Outside, Upside Down: by Stan & Jan Berenstain. (New York: Random House, 1968.)