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Reading with your child

Reading books with your child

Sharing a book with your child can be a magical experience. By building story time into your bedtime routine you and your child will be:

  • Entering a shared world to explore and learn together
  • Letting your child’s imagination run free
  • Introducing your little one to new words and meanings
  • Giving them the chance to ask questions
  • Helping them to relax and soothe sleep
  • Having fun together!

The Department for Education’s Hungry Little Minds campaign, delivered in partnership with the National Literacy Trust, has lots of ideas to make your story time special:

Repeat, repeat, repeat

Reading the same book again and again will help your child to get to know the story. Once they know it well, ask them about what’s happening in book and praise them when they respond.

Look at the pictures

The beauty of children’s books is that it doesn’t matter if you don’t read all the words - you can tell a story from the pictures! If your child knows the book well, or even if they don’t, let them have a go at becoming the storyteller just from looking at the pictures on the page. It will help them to improve their speaking skills and grow more confident.

Let them choose

Your child will enjoy choosing books for themselves from a bookshelf they can reach or book box at home, or even ebooks on a phone or tablet. This will help you both to discover the kind of stories they enjoy the most.

Listen up

Your child might prefer to listen to audiobooks. Why not listen together for a completely immersive and relaxing experience?

Take a trip to the library

Visit your local library with your child to find loads of new stories and activities together!


Words for Life has lots of activity suggestions to help make the most of reading with your child.

Find out more.



Help your child acquire new vocabulary.


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