Develop your child's literacy skills in the early years
We all know that reading to your child is important, but what else can you do to support their literacy skills? We have teamed up with the National Literacy Trust to bring you tips for supporting your child's early years literacy learning.
Literacy tips for parents: 0-3 years
- Even if it seems too early to start reading at this age, it is important to start sharing stories. Your child will appreciate the pictures and will enjoy hearing the sound of your voice.
- Repetition is key at this age, as it helps to build children’s language.
- Try books that are fun to play with, too, for example squishy books, those that make noises and ones with flaps and other interesting things to touch.
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Literacy tips for parents: 3-5 years
- Encouraging your child’s familiarity with books will put them at a great advantage when they start school. Let them turn the pages and pretend to read. Follow the words with your finger, and get them to engage with the story by asking them to guess what happens next and describe the pictures.
- Make the story come alive by use funny voices, toys and actions.
- Don’t expect to read with your child for longer than about 10 minutes, as they are likely to get bored easily.
Literacy tips for parents: 5-8 years
- Encourage your child to read to you. Follow the words with your finger and sound out the words (c-a-t: cat).
- Praise your child for trying hard at their reading. Reassure them that it's okay to make mistakes.
- Point out all the words around you: labels on food, on street signs, on advertising billboards. Model the words and get your child to repeat.
Chat, play and read to support learning
Small Talk, a website from the National Literacy Trust, helps parents turn the everyday activities they're already doing with their child into new opportunities to fill their child’s world with words.