Your child is never too young to listen and look at story books read to them by you.  Reading books together is a fun, interactive activity that you can share with your child from as young as six months of age.  Some parents like to start even earlier, reading aloud to their baby whilst they are pregnant.


For some families though, this seemingly simple and enjoyable activity, does not go according to plan.  Some parents report that their toddler will not sit still long enough for them to read a book to them or that their child loses interest in the book before it is finished.  One reason for this could be because the book you have chosen may not be the most suitable choice for your child at his/her particular stage of development.  As a general rule, the younger the child – the shorter the book, with less words and less pictures on each page.  Fabulous early books are the very robust board books that have one brightly coloured picture and only one or two words on each page.


The book also needs to be of high interest to your child.  If you find a book that you think would interest your child (e.g. all about diggers) but there are too many words on the page and you know your child would not sit long enough to listen to it all, don’t read all the words.  Pick out the main points from the written text and say it in your own words, simplifying the language so your child will understand it, enjoy it and sit with you until the end of the book.


Things to look for in books to facilitate early word learning.


Books should include the following features:


  • rhyme (children tune into the rhythm of the rhyming words)
  • repetition (this allows the child to anticipate what is coming next and to join in with you)
  • simple grammar (simple sentences allow your child to understand the story more easily)
  • clear pictures (children love to look at colourful, clear pictures that look like the real object).


Reading books is an effective way to broaden your child’s experiences by reading about things that they have not done before or places they have never visited.  It is also a great way for children to increase their vocabulary by hearing new words that they haven’t heard in their day to day life.


For the kindergarten and prep-aged child, reading books together can also be a great way to introduce them to concepts of print and how the letters make different sounds.  Understanding and appreciating rhyme is also an early pre-literacy skill that is critical, as it is one of the many foundational skills required for early reading.


Fostering a love of books in children from a very young age is an investment in their future.  Reading books on a daily basis to your child will not only help their language development but it will also help prepare them in the best way possible for when they start to learn how to read themselves.  If you have any concerns about your child’s language skills or reading skills, do not hesitate to contact us by phone (33998028) or email