7 Days of Early Reading Tips

I often hear parents saying that their little ones don’t really like books or they find it hard to get them interested. If you feel like this then these next series of tips are for you!

Research shows that reading with children from a young age greatly impacts their long term language development. It’s also a fun activity that you can share with child as they grow up (I’m really excited to read the Narnia series with my little man when he’s bigger!)

Here are 7 practical tips to get this happening with your little one 👶 📖

EARLY READING TIP #1 📖 Start Today 📖

Sharing reading time with you child is also a great way to bond with them. Little babies love to hear the sound of your voice, so this is a great way for them to be exposed to more words.

Studies have shown that starting at around 8 months old has a significant impact on later language development. Prior to this there are also benefits (e.g. bonding) but the language impacts were more defined from 8 months old.

If you haven’t started – that’s all good just start today with a small step! There’s no need to have your little one pressured into sitting for a whole book- start with a page or two of something that they are interested in and you can build up from there 😃

EARLY READING TIP #2 📖 Let them choose 📖

If your child has a positive experience with books (or anything really) then they will want to try it again 👏

Letting them choose the book is all part of creating a positive experience. We all know that children love to have control. Giving them choices when it is appropriate, helps them to have that sense of control and independence in a positive way.

Here are some practical ways to do this:

📚 Have a selection of books that are the appropriate level for your child available at home for them to choose from.

📚 Narrow this selection down to a couple of options for little ones. You can even do this with your baby by holding two books up and seeing which one they look at and then reading that one.

📚 There is no need to force them to finish a whole book. If they loose interest then that’s ok, you could move to another book or try again later.

📚 You could try the local library / op shop / do a book swap with friends to find some new options for them to choose from.

Research has shown that number of books available in the home correlates to reading level when children are older, so any way that you can display books or give them a focus in the home helps to improve language skills! 🎉

EARLY READING TIP #3 📖 Routines 📖

What part of the day do you usually read with your little one?

Picking an appropriate time to read is all about adding book time into your usual routines so that it’s predictable and easy for you and your little one to get around to it. Have a think about some of the things that you already do together everyday and add books in 😁

Here are some practical ideas:

👍 Reading is a great activity to have as part of the bedtime routine, you can read in the evening and you could also do a quick book before nap time.

👍 In the car or pram can be another good time for books. I have a little box of books in the car and my little one loves choosing a book when we get in.

👍 You could add it into tummy time, bath time (if you have a waterproof book) or when you are doing nappy changes.

👍 You can have a separate box of books that is accessible all day and let your child explore them when they want to.

👍 If you have memorised any of the books that your little one loves (I have after he requests them over and over 😂) you can say them back to them even without the book around. My little guy finds this really funny.


We all know that our little people are really great at mimicking the things that we do and reading is no different!!

There is research that shows that even the number of books in the home can impact children’s literacy levels throughout childhood. So if you give value to reading in your home then your children will follow along!

Here are some practical ideas about this:

😍 Children will pick up the passion and excitement that you show them when you are reading together so if you’re enjoying it then this is a great example for them.

😍 If you have any favourite books from your own childhood you could share these with your little one. That’s a nice way to show them that you also loved reading when you were their age.

😍 Reading your own books! (Yes! I’m saying that sitting down and reading a book is a good idea for your child’s development). I do this for a few minutes while my little one is playing and when he comes up to see what I’m doing I show him the book I’m reading and we talk about how I like to read my books too.

EARLY READING TIP #5 📖 No Pressure 📖

Often parents I chat with find it tricky when their little ones don’t seem to want to read books or they might look at a couple of pages and then move away. They can feel that their reading time has been a failure because it didn’t go as planned.

I just want to give you full permission to take the pressure off reading books!

There is not need to read every word or every page with your little one. There is still benefit in sharing a couple of pages together or even just looking at the pictures together and talking about what you can see.

Here are some tips if you feel that your little one doesn’t like books:

📚 Select books about what they are most interested in and expand from there.

📚 Interactive books can be a great starting point to get them interested.

📚 Introduce books at a time of day when they are relaxed and happy.

📚 Follow their lead – if they are turning the page too early that’s all good, go with it. If they want to switch books then that’s awesome that they are interested in another one so follow their lead in that as well.

Start with a small goal- if they don’t usually interact with books at all then a goal could be to look at one page for a couple of seconds or it could be to stay nearby while you read a book. Celebrate when they do these small things and you can move forward in your book reading journey!

EARLY READING TIP #6 📖 Follow Interests 📖

Do you know what your little ones main interests are at the moment? If you do then you can use this to bring fun and motivation to reading books with them 😁 That’s ok if you’re not sure- you could explore together until you find some!

I’m not sure about you, but sometimes I start a novel and then after reading a little bit I put it down and never finish. Then I might try another book and really enjoy it. Kids should have the freedom to do the same – read for enjoyment!!

You can help with this by giving them options about what they want to read or going to the library or book shop together to choose books. If they are older you could have conversations about the books they enjoy the most and why they like them. It’s a great way to enter their world and understand them more!

My little one is very into cars and animals at the moment! 🚘 🚙 🦒 🦓 We have been reading lots of books about these topics and perfecting our sound effects together 😂

EARLY READING TIP #7 📖 Expand Vocabulary 📖

It can be tricky to find the right books for your child’s age and level so this tip is to help you out!

You want to see if you can find books that will not just include the words that your child already knows, but also have unfamiliar words. When you come across these words you can talk with them about what they mean and help expand your child’s vocabulary 🎉

It is also great to choose books that have a narrative element so that your child can hear the words in context and learn how they can be used.

If your child is school aged and learning to read themselves then the school readers area great for practicing reading aloud, but it’s also great to

read other books together that have more unfamiliar words to help them to continue to expand their vocabulary.

Even as adults we can continue to expand our vocabulary. It’s a lifelong process!

Olivia Green
Speech Pathologist

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