Books and Reading

Reading to your child from infancy has great developmental benefits for language skills, and social and emotional wellbeing – it provides intimacy, comfort and a multisensory experience. Books provide a script for parents, so they’re a simple (but engaging) way to introduce children to an exciting range of words while capturing their attention and imagination!

Research by the American Academy of Paediatrics has found reading books with a child beginning in infancy has a lasting effect on their language skills and boosts vocabulary four years later. Basically, reading to your baby supports their literacy skills when entering school!

  • Read aloud and talk about the pictures and words in age-appropriate books to support language development.
  • Ask your toddler to point to and name pictures in books.
  • When reading nursery rhymes, ask your child to repeat back lines of the rhymes or sing along with you. Ask them to pick out the rhyming words to support their recognition of units of sound (phonemes).
  • Support creativity and imagination by asking your child to think what they believe is going to happen next in the story.
  • Act out the book or use exaggerated expressions and accents to bring stories to life and add some extra enjoyment!
  • Paired Reading – A great way for kids learning to read and struggling with fluency or confidence. It can be used with any book and in a number of ways:
    • Taking turns reading sentence by sentence, or by paragraphs, pages or chapters.
    • Parents can begin reading then let their child take over when they feel comfortable, if they struggle with a word give them a few seconds and then assist them.
    • Parent and child can read together throughout
    • Parent can read a sentence and then the child can read the same sentence alone or with the parent.
  • If your child doesn’t recognise a word, ask them if they have any clue what it might mean. Encourage them to look for clues in the story to figure out what it could be.