Reading to your child
Up to 4 years
Reading a book to your child is a wonderful bonding experience for you both, and it is very educational.
Reading to your child does not always have to involve a book. In fact, if you make the most of the writing you see on signs, posters and food packets, you will find opportunities to read to your child every day.
You are your child’s very first teacher and through your voice your child learns different words and sounds, which will help them with speech and reading.
Listening to you read helps them with their memory, concentration and comprehension.
Here are our tips on how best to read a book to your child:
- Pick a time to read that suits your routine. Reading a book does not have to occur at bedtime, although reading with your child is a great way to help them settle down for bed.
- Choose a book to enjoy with your child. Young children appreciate vibrant coloured illustrations with lots of characterisation. If they are old enough, let them choose the book they would like you to read.
- Read the book to your child, and make sure to put plenty of variations in your voice for different characters and events. The sillier you can be with voices, the better.
- Change the pace of your voice depending on what is happening in the book. For example, if the character is sleepy, speak in a slower voice. If the character is in a hurry, talk faster.
- Use book reading to really interact with your child. Ask open-ended questions like, ‘Who is the biggest, the cat or the mouse?’; ‘Why do you think the cat is frowning?’ and ‘What do you think is going to happen next?’.
Enjoy your special reading time together!