All children need to experience books.
Playing with the pages, looking at pictures and words in good old favourites or new books brings life-long benefits. Sharing books is associated with well-being and promotes literacy later at school.
Many of us can remember the books that we loved as children, which still bring us joy as adults, and even more so when we share them with the children in our lives. A love of reading as an adult is often fostered from a love of books as a child.
The key is to start early, but how to start?
It’s good to choose two or more books to share with your toddler or pre-schooler each day – they can choose one, and you choose the other.
Some children love the same book for days, weeks or even months – That’s’ okay! Those familiar favourites allow children to grow in confidence – they retell the whole story, or they can help tell the story or fill in words. They can play different roles and be the teacher or the storyteller themselves.
New books introduce new words and pictures.
Pick books that your child can interact with. There are many options:
Lift the flap books and books with textures/touch and feel books– allow some movement and participation with wriggly children.
Bath books and board books are great. They don’t tear or fall apart so easily!
You can make books easier to interact with by adding “page fluffers” to make turning pages easier. Page fluffers are pieces of tape stuck between pages to keep them a bit apart so they can be turned more easily. You can use the tape from the hardware, that you use to stop drafts around doors/windows.