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Sharing a book or reading a book with your child is one of the most enjoyable and beneficial activities that carers can do. You can even start reading with your brand new bubs – they love looking at the pictures and listening to your voice, and it is a lovely, easy way to connect during what can be a very challenging time.

Even if your toddler or young child cannot read words yet, they will have figured out what books are. They will enjoy pointing at pictures, turning pages, holding them with you and if they are able, talking about what interests them. Young babies may even love lying on the floor next to you, looking up at a book together.

When reading a book with your child the main goals isn’t always about reading the words in the book. Goals include:

  • Bonding  with your child

  • Learning new things together

  • Having fun

  • Creating special turn taking opportunities

  • Developing a love of books

In addition to the benefits above, studies have shown that sharing books with your child from an early age supports a wide range of early language skills. Children who are read with early on learn language faster, have larger vocabulary banks and have increased school readiness.

Tips to enhance shared book reading

  • Allow and support your child to make up their own story that matches the pictures and their ideas.

  • Don’t only focus on the words in the book. Talk about the book together and the pictures in the book.

  • Don’t simplify your vocabulary. Introduce new words and explain what they are.

  • Connect your child’s experience with what’s happening in the books.


Types of books your toddler/ young child will enjoy

  • Books with bright and colourful pictures

  • Sensory books that feel fun to touch

  • Interactive books: books with flaps or tabs you can pull will fascinate your child and capture their engagement as you read the book together.

  • Repetitive books- this type of book will capture your child’s interest and make it easier for them to remember key words

  • Homemade books. Making books with your child with scraps of pictures, paper and glue is one of the best things you can do to foster a love of books, improve turn taking and support early language development

We have compiled a list of our faveourite books for all ages here

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