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Kath Dickson Family Centre

Serving, protecting and empowering families since 1975

serving, protecting and empowering families since 1975serving, protecting and empowering families since 1975

Kath Dickson Family Centre Blog

Books will never be old-fashioned

Samfya Smith - Saturday, March 18, 2017
Reading to childrenWith all our 21st century technology such as smart phones, tablets and 24 hour children’s television it’s easy to think that reading stories and nursery rhymes to your child is old fashioned and outmoded. 

Nothing could be further from the truth. It’s the interactive and hands on experiences children have with their parents and other important adults in their life that best supports their development. 

Given that 50% of our language is learned by three years of age, the importance of reading with your children cannot be emphasised enough. By reading aloud to your young ones for just 10 minutes a day you are not only developing their language skills but also their social and cognitive development and overall well being.

Not sure where to start? Try some of these tips.

1. Have books available
Have a variety of books that suits your child’s age and have them were they can get to them. While you may have a few special books that your child can only have under adult supervision make sure you have plenty available for them to look at whenever they want.  Don’t be afraid that the books will get tattered and worn – that’s a sign they are well loved.

2. Have a reading routine with your child
Choose a time and place that best suits your family. It could be the last activity at night while snuggled up in bed or it could be in the middle of the day at the park. What is important is that it suits your family, you are both comfortable and there are no distractions such as a television or radio on in the background.

3. Make it fun and interactive
Become the characters. Use different voices and expressions. You may even like to get adventurous and use some puppets. If you can, try and relate the story to your child’s experiences and ask questions such as ‘what do you think will happen next?’ and ‘How do you think they are feeling?”

4. Look at the pictures
There can be lots to explore in a picture and it can give another exciting dimension to the story.

5. Be prepared for repetition
Repetition is how children learn so be prepared to read the same story over again and again. It may be driving you crazy but it’s actually helping your child’s development.

6. Read everything
Let your children read the recipe you are using to make dinner tonight. Let them see your shopping list or newspaper. Read the street signs out to them.  This way your child can see how important reading is in everyday life.

7. Let your children see you read
You are your child’s most important teacher and role model so if they can see you reading and enjoying it then they are more likely to want to read themselves.

Still wanting a bit of support?

Come along to one of our Kath Dickson Family Centre playgroups and see us in action with story telling and singing in a fun environment. Our staff would be only too happy to talk to you and help you feel comfortable with a reading routine with your child.