Reading with toddlers and children

Parents – a child’s first and most important teachers. Children have so much to learn about the world and how to maneuver  through it!

Sharing books with your child(ren) is a lovely way to deepen bonds even further and at the same time increase language skills, imagination and will help them understand the world around them. Everyone is born a natural learner with their own unique learning style. Children are eager to learn new things on a daily basis – the home is a rich source of learning. A supportive family is very important. This doesn’t just have to fall on the parent(s) – siblings, grandparents, aunties, uncles etc can also join in with reading fun!

If you talk with me, not at me,

If you play with me, and not just leave me to my own devices,

If you include me in your world, to help me understand mine,

If you sing to me, and with me,

If you read to me, AND with me –

Then I’ll know what its all about 🙂

BE PATIENT – don’t forget children learn at different rates. Our now almost 11 year old did not learn to read until she was 7 years and 3 months old. I remember very well – for years we read to her on a daily basis. She would memorise heaps of small books that were read to he – even turning the pages at the appropriate moment and ‘reading’ from memory. Poetry books – from a young age she loved poetry and I’m sure most kids do this, and it makes every parent proud – after reading the same poetry books over and over she could always complete the sentence whenever I stopped. We weren’t bothered about her reading at a set age, we knew she would read when she was ready. There were moments when family/friends questioned why she couldn’t write yet and that does make you feel a bit uncomfortable, but we stayed strong in our convictions….So, like I said when she was just over 7 she picked up a Felicity Wishes book, in cursive script to boot, and read the entire thing. ” Mummy, Mummy!” she shouted excitedly “I can read!” She then picked up a ROALD DAHL book and started reading. She hasn’t stopped since. She’s also self taught in writing – her writing is beautiful and we are so proud. Her spelling is as good as mine :p and where she reads soooooo many books, her vocabulary is phenomenal and she’s always writing stories…


  • Don’t push too hard – kids switch off (who wouldn’t). But don’t go too slowly either as this can make them bored.
  • Everyone is different and YOU know your child best – this means you can tailor it to their pace
  • Sharing books helps develop speech and communication
  • You learn to talk a long time before you learn to read, so don’t worry if they don’t get it (yet). Try and see the world through their eyes and don’t put them under too much pressure 🙂
  • Don’t be pushy – this is not a race. If you are not going down the home ed path, there will be plenty of that in school anyhow!
  • A child’s concentration span isn’t as long as an adults. Little and often is good, unless they show mega interest! An ex-primary school teacher told me last year that they are told a childs concentration is generally twice their age! 
  • Most importantly make the most of the time you have reading with you littlies – this will give all involved precious memories.  They will soon be almost 11 like our big girl, and you will miss reading to them. Especially when they start reading by themselves and don’t want you to read to them anymore…. glad we have a 2 year old to do it all again with :p



Ideas on book sharing with your children

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