The first steps in reading:

Your child may be too young to start reading independently, but you can still point them in the right direction. Here are our top tips for encouraging a love of reading in our youngest pupils.

Reading aloud to your child

Talking about the words and pictures, and sharing ideas about the book.

Reading yourself

Children who see adults reading, and enjoying it, are much more likely to want to read themselves.

Surrounding your child with books

You don’t need hundreds of books at home, but go to the library or bookshop regularly to borrow books, spend time together, browse and make choices. In this way, reading becomes a habit.

Why do we read?

Reading is one of the most important skills your child will ever learn, and is a skill which will stay with them and benefit them throughout their lives. Here are 5 of the key reasons why we should all read for enjoyment:

  1. Reading exercises our brain. Reading strengthens brains connections and builds NEW connections.
  2. Reading improves concentration. Children have to sit still and quietly so that they can focus on the story when they are reading. If they read often, they will develop the skill to do this for longer.
  3. Reading improves vocabulary and language skills. Children learn new words as they read. They absorb information on how to structure sentences and how to use words and other language features in their writing.
  4. Reading develops a child’s imagination. While we are engaged in a story we are also imagining how a character is feeling. Young children then bring this knowledge into their everyday play.
  5. Reading is fun. A book or an e-reader doesn’t take up much space and is light to carry, so you can take it anywhere so you can never be bored if you have a book in your bag.

Our top 3 online resources for you to read:

Oxford Owl: Discover expert advice, educational resources and free eBooks to support children’s learning at primary school and at home, from Oxford university Press.

Book Trust: There are classic children’s stories that you and your family will love, including Hairy Maclary from Donaldson’s Dairy and Owl Babies, along with newer favourites such as Oh No, George! and Everybunny Dance!

Epic!: Epic is the leading digital reading platform – built on a collection of 40,000+ popular, high quality books from 250+ of the world’s best publishers – that safely fuels curiosity and reading confidence for kids 12 and under.

As well as reading

Why not try to complete some of our reading challenges, and have fun reading some new books together!

  1. Sit back, relax and listen to an audio book.
  2. Draw, paint or make your favourite character.
  3. Make a comic strip of your favourite books, or tell your own story.
  4. Write a letter or Tweet and author. You could get a reply from them!
  5. Read in a strange place. Take a photo, and send it to your school.
  6. Read aloud to a family member. Practice using your voice for expression.
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