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Did you know?

Reading happens everywhere. Each day there are opportunities to read with your child:

  • words on toys and games
  • children’s books
  • birthday cards and invitations
  • using apps on devices
  • letters and emails
  • street names and road signs
  • television ads and children’s programmes e.g. Play School.

It is never too early or too late to start reading with your child.

Reading aloud with your child is the best way to develop and improve your child’s reading and writing skills.

Where to start

  • Talk to your child’s teacher about where your child is at with their reading.
  • Find out if there are books and other resources that your school can provide for you to use.
  • All schools have Launching into Learning programmes for children of pre-school age and their parents. Contact your school about this programme.
  • You don’t need to be an expert to help your child to enjoy reading.
  • Visit your local LINC with your child to listen to a LINC staff member read to children’s groups.
  • Audio books allow your child to hear a book and turn the pages as they listen and this is a way you can share a book and relax too.
  • Some authors, such as Mem Fox, read aloud on their websites  – this has good resources for parents too.

For your child

  • Children need to learn how to hear lots of sounds so that they can eventually see the words that use those sounds.
  • Try and put aside time each day to read with your child.
  • The earlier you start the better.
  • Model good reading behaviour at home.
  • Reading should be fun, for example, reading with a torch under a blanket or using your voice in fun ways.
  • Children love to have the same books read over and over; they really enjoy knowing what comes next.

Children enjoy rhyme, rhythm and repetition so they can recite and laugh at the sounds of words, for example, Hairy Maclary books and Dr Seuss books.

For you

  • Attend any sessions the school might run on learning to read.
  • Visit the LINC – they have resources that may help you.
  • Talk with other parents to get tips.
  • Book shops have children’s book sections and can give you advice on the most popular books for different ages. Make reading fun.
  • Mistakes are good – it means your child is learning.
  • Be supportive and positive.
  • Ask questions so that you know your child understands what they are reading.
  • Start a library at home by suggesting books as gifts.
  • New words and ideas create new opportunities for children to know their world so non-fiction books are great too.
  • Carry books in the car or have a book in your bag so you always have one on hand.

Where can I get more information?


Download the Print version of brochure

 Reading with your child

This page has been produced by the Department of Education.
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