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Most toddlers love to have the same book read to them over and over again. You can help them learn by pointing out what is in the pictures. Books with lots of objects to name or hidden things to find are popular too. The more you read to your child the sooner they will take the step to reading for themselves when they are older.
For many children reading with a parent is their favourite pastime, more so than watching TV together.
If the knowledge that reading to your children before bed will help them to sleep better doesn’t encourage you to start reading, it’s worth knowing that storytelling is a powerful learning and emotional resource for children. It promotes bonding between you and your child and will also help improve their language and literacy skills.
Many parents feel awkward about reading aloud but the advice from experts is simple – don’t be! Firstly, research shows a child loves it when a parent reads a story to them, and secondly, nobody else is listening so you have no need to feel silly!
Learning to listen to stories is a skill that children learn over time. The more you read together the more used your child will be to tuning into the stories. To help stimulate your child’s interest make sure the book is appropriate for your child’s age and understanding. Your local library or bookshop will be able to give you good advice on age-appropriate books. If your child is very reluctant to listen, choose books about things that really interest them liketheir favourite films and TV programmes.