Sharing Books with Younger Children

Reading and sharing books is not just a bedtime activity! Share books with children from a very young age, even babies enjoy the interaction and closeness of sharing a picture book. By doing this children are exposed to turning the pages, looking and discussing the pictures, tracking the text and begin to realise that words on the page relate to the content of the book/story. It is important that as adults we take opportunities to model telling a story, ask questions as the story proceeds (who? what? when? where? why?) and predict what might happen thereby increasing the anticipation and firing our child’s imagination. These are all extremely valuable pre-reading skills. Retelling stories after reading and using props to re-enact them also adds to the enjoyment.
When children start school parents are usually keen for them to start reading and eagerly await for the first reading book to be sent home. They can then be disappointed if the book they are sent does not have any text not realising the value of all of these pre-reading skills. It is so much better to gain confidence and skills using picture clues giving children an enjoyment of books rather than be faced with words that have no relevance to the pre-reader. Then when that first reading book is sent home children have all the pre-reading skills in place and are ready to make that flying start!