Children who are read aloud to benefit in many ways. They become familiar with books and reading, which helps to develop their imagination and creativity. They find it easier to concentrate in general and tend to have more advanced language skills. Children who have been read to, also tend to do better in school. Research has shown that reading to them regularly helps when they are learning to read and write.

Reading to your child may not come naturally and many parents don’t have a clue where to start. Firstly it should be said that you can’t start reading to your baby too early but many parents will start reading to their baby in the womb! If done regularly, then the baby will recognise the patterns of the voice when reading the same story to them after they are born.

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If your baby has been born and you haven’t yet started reading to them, it’s not too late. In the beginning, keep it simple. You don’t want to go beyond their concentration levels so choose books with simple pictures your child is likely to know. Sing to your child and read rhymes and jingles as often as possible. As well as having a fixed time to read aloud to your child, e.g. bedtime, don’t be scared to pick up a book at any time during the day too. Your child will enjoy every moment! Try not to let anything interrupt such as the phone, television, radio etc.

Reading should be fun. Sit in a comfortable place and simply enjoy being with your child in such a worthwhile way.

Which are the favourite books in your home? How often do you (or your partner) read to your child?