Literacy plays a critical role in your child’s development and therefore reading to your child from a baby is vital.

Setting aside just 20 minutes a day to read to your child at home provides an essential foundation for your child’s literacy preparation and will help your little superstars expand their vocabulary and recognise written words. Reading with your child also stimulates imagination whilst expanding their understanding of the world.

According to The Children’s Reading Foundation: “Reading with a child everyday nurtures vocabulary, language, and early literacy skills. It also builds the child’s confidence to work through challenges and persistence in difficult tasks, and develops social and emotional skills, which are just as essential to school success.”

From educational skills to emotional and social skills, implementing reading into the daily routine has profound development effects:

Communication – by the age of one, a child will have learnt all the sounds needed to talk. Therefore, the more you read the more your child will accumulate words and is better equipped to communicate.

Emotional and Social Development – as you read aloud to your child, your voice and tone automatically conveys emotion. This encourages children to understand different moods, and ultimately empathy.

Information – stories are a fantastic source of information and can be a great way to inform children about different cultures, places and ideas. Practical literacy, for example following a recipe, also helps to provide a tangible aspect of learning.

Concentration – story time will help improve your child’s concentration and focus, both essential skills for future learning.

Enjoyment – introducing literacy at an early age should be fun and exciting. As they grow older their imaginations can run wild and can provide them with a perpetual outlet for creativity in the form of reading and writing.

Tips on How to Develop Your Child’s Literacy

When children focus on literacy activities that they enjoy, reading will be seen as a treat not a chore. Here are some tips for parents and teachers to utilise to enhance the literacy learning experience for children.

  • Limit television, computer, and tablet time in favour of reading.
  • Lead by example; a child will value reading when they see their role models also reading.
  • Join your local library; find library books and topics that your child is currently interested in and then read them together, you could even make this a weekly occurrence.
  • Before you go on an outing or trip, consider if there are books that can be For example, if you are going to the zoo consider reading books about animals. From this, your child can relate their experience from the day to the story and may also gain an interest and want to read more about it going forwards.