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Shared book reading

Forget the rules when you look at books with your child.

Reading books to your child will help him/her to develop language and listening skills, as well as stimulating his/her imagination and knowledge of the world. Most families tend to have a routine around reading books with their child. When reading books with your child, you can forget the rules:

  • You don’t have to start at the beginning
  • You can skip pages and not finish the book
  • You can talk about pictures without reading the words
  • You can change the words to something more suitable that your child will enjoy
  • Vary your tone of voice and make silly noises
  • Use facial expressions and gestures/actions
  • You can read the same book over and over, even in one sitting! The more exposure the better.

Visit your local library and look out for more interactive books such as books with flaps, sparkly pages, colourful pictures, or different textures. Books with simple rhymes and predictable text are often engaging for young children. Look at photos in a photo album or make your own mini books with your child by drawing simple pictures or cutting and gluing pictures from catalogues.

Let's watch...

What did you notice in the video that was different to traditional book reading?

The parent did not read the words. The parent used single words and short sentences. The parent spoke about the pictures. The parent followed the child’s lead.

Let's break it down...

Caregiver Self-reflection

At home:

What will you do differently when reading books with your child?

Last updated 13 Jul 2023