“There is more treasure in books than in all the pirate’s loot on Treasure Island.” – Walt Disney
1. Make books a part of family life – Always have books around at home. That way you and your children are ready to get reading, even if it’s only for ten minutes.
2. Join your local library – Get your child a library card. They’ll be able to get their hands on hundreds of fantastic books, as well as the latest video games, blu-rays and DVDs. Let them choose what they want to read to help them develop their own interests.
3. Read about something they’re interested in – Help your child find the right book for them. It doesn’t matter if it’s fiction, poetry, comic books or non-fiction.
4. All reading is good – Don’t rule out non-fiction, comics, graphic novels, magazines or leaflets. Reading is reading and it’s all worthwhile.
5. Get comfortable! – Snuggle up together somewhere warm and cosy, whether it’s in bed, on a beanbag or on the sofa. And make sure your child has somewhere comfy to read on their own too.
6. Ask questions – To keep them interested in the story, ask your child questions as you read. Start with ‘Where did we get to last time?’, ‘Can you remember what’s happened so far?’ and ‘What do you think will happen next?’.
7. Read whenever you get the chance – Have a book or magazine with you for any time your child has to wait, like at the doctor’s or the dentist.
8. Read favourites again and again – Encourage your child to re-read the books and poems they love. Re-reading helps to build fluency and confidence.
9. Enjoy bedtime stories – Read with your children at bedtime as often as you can. It’s a great way to end the day and to spend valuable time with them.
10. Make the most of rhyme and repetition – Books and poems with rhymes and repeated words or phrases are great for getting your kids to join in and remember the words.