Your child’s ability to hear, recognise and use sounds in her early years will help her have success later in life when she’s learning to read.
Reading aloud and sharing stories with your baby from birth is one of the most important and enjoyable things you can do. If you’re not sure where or how to start, here are some ideas.
Why reading with your young baby is important
Sharing stories, talking and singing helps your baby’s development. Doing this every day helps your baby get familiar with sounds, words, language and, eventually, the value and joy of books. This all builds your baby’s early literacy skills and helps him go on to read successfully later in life.
Reading stories also stimulates your baby’s imagination and helps her learn about the world around her. It’s a great time for you to bond with your baby and share time together too.
You can start reading aloud to your child as early as you like – the earlier the better. Articles on reading stories with babies and children and developing literacy have more information to get you started.
Sharing books with your baby
Even young babies can learn from the experience of reading books with you. For example, you can:
Here are some general tips to help you make the most of reading time with your little one:
Visit your local library – it’s free to join and borrow. The staff will be able to recommend age-appropriate books for you and your baby to enjoy.
What to read with your baby
There are so many books to choose from that it can be hard to know where to start.
As a broad rule, babies enjoy books that have good rhymes, rhythm and repetition. This repetition and rhyming helps children learn. It is the building block for early literacy.
From when your baby is born, you might like to look for:
Here are some books your baby might enjoy:
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