How To Encourage Reading. Tips For Babies, Toddlers & Pre-schoolers

Nobody is too young for reading!


Pintrest infographic with light blue pictures of books and How to encourage reading

  • Read a story to your child…

Read aloud, night or day to your baby. Your voice is soothing and it encourages bonding. I read the newspaper to my little boy! Buy picture books and board books.

They are colourful and can be chewed!

Encourage your little one to look, point and touch. Choose books with repetitive text to build language skills and find some that are crinkly and shiny. For older babies pick books with rhyme and simple language that introduce the concept of shapes, colours and numbers.

We love the touchy feel books from Usborne!

  • Read With your child…

Move forwards from picture books to story books. Get your silly voice on; you don’t have to be good.

‘…Fi-fi-fo-fum!…’ put some FUN in your voice!

Ask questions. ‘What does a cat say?’ Listening to a story does not have to be a quiet affair. With toddlers don’t worry if they get bored two pages into a book.

Don’t force them to sit still but do try and get in the habit of reading once a day.

Pick a couple of favourites.  Read the same book often and the child will predict what will be happening. Little ones may pretend to read, encourage it, nod and smile even if it is total toddler waffle! Go to library groups.

Go on a bear hunt…

  • Encourage your child to read to you…

Encourage your little one to hold a book the right way up, turn pages and learn that text is read from left to right. Also encourage them to follow your reading with their little finger or put their finger on yours. Talk about the cover of the book and about what might be happening in the pictures.

Ask open ended questions.

Talk to your child about putting a breath space between words. Buy an alphabet book. Pronounce letters phonetically and learn the hilarious actions, i.e. ‘buh’ rather than ‘bee’, as this is the way they will learn them at school.

Be prepared to play ‘I spy’ for 100 hours.

When your child starts reading solo, read early in the day before they are too over tired. Keep the reading sessions short. PRAISE them, make positive associations with reading! Be patient. If F becomes F for Fart…roll with it.

childrens books at the library



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  1. twotinyhands
    1st April 2016 / 8:55 pm

    We love reading to our little man, he wants to attack/eat the books at the moment but whenever we chuck in a silly voice or a different tone he looks up in excitement! Great advice well written x

  2. 2nd April 2016 / 4:17 pm

    My little one (11 months) loves reading books together – mainly the It’s Not My books but also Brown Bear what do you see -she loves. Great advice, I’m not very good at the voices but she loves it all the same 🙂 x

    • 3rd April 2016 / 12:00 am

      Those are lovely books! Thank you for such a kind comment. My voices all sound the same!xx

  3. 8th April 2016 / 8:49 pm

    I read a story (or two) every night to my boys. They absolutely love listening and I love reading. One of my favourites is Charlie Cooks Favourite Book by Julia Donaldson, partially because I get to do all the accents (ok my pirate accents not the best but I try 😊). I also have no doubt in my mind it will be F for fart and P for poo. Kids eh! 😂 Gem (aka Colleyswobbles) #puddinglove

    • 11th April 2016 / 9:37 am

      Haha I would love to see a video of you doing your accents..all of mine sound ‘farmer’..Lucky boys to have such a fab mummy! I havn’t read that one, will check it out..we loved room on a broom!xxx

      • 11th April 2016 / 9:46 am

        Apparently my pirate sounds like a drunk Irish/Bristolean cross 😂 Room on a Broom is fab. I love all of her books. I’m in the process of producing a kids book with my lovely friend at the moment. So keep your eyes peeled xx

        • 11th April 2016 / 9:59 am

          OMG that is exciting let me know when it is for sale and we will read the bejesus out of it! 🙂 Clever lady xxx

  4. 8th April 2016 / 10:30 pm

    What a great post – we are avid readers at Pudding HQ! Some great tips for getting little ones excited about books. Thanks for linking up #puddinglove

    • 11th April 2016 / 9:38 am

      Thank you for making such a lovely linky!We got thwarted by no net in Wales so are now back and are about to dive into your posts and comment with gusto! You have some fab content!xxx

  5. 9th April 2016 / 10:21 am

    I love getting book suggestions, we read to baby bump every night but since she arrived we haven’t had time. Think it’s time to build it back into the routine again. I’ll look out for the osboutne books, touch and feel would be great when she’s tiny!

    • 11th April 2016 / 9:55 am

      Ubourne’s are great for the first books, they are so tactile!and you can find loads really cheaply in charity shops. Haha finding the time at first is hard as you are so tired, when Leo was little I read my uni books to him, he just liked the sound of my voice!xx

  6. 9th April 2016 / 6:18 pm

    I have a little black and white book with a few words in for my 8 week old. we read it everyday! hopefully she will be a huge booklover like me! xx


    • 11th April 2016 / 9:57 am

      That is Fab, we had a couple of the early black and white books, I remember one had smiley faces that looked a little like Voldemort lol..They love all the different colours when they are little!Thank you for the lovely comment xx

  7. lozandthesprog
    2nd May 2016 / 12:09 pm

    We love touchy feely books like the “that’s not my…” series- also books with mirrors (takes after me…). I love reading to the baby and agree they are never too young for stories!

    • 2nd May 2016 / 12:20 pm

      Haha I tend to hide from mirrors nowadays, thank you for the comment my lovely xx

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