It’s never too early to start reading to your baby. From a very young age babies show an interest in books and storytelling – be it picture books, pop-up books or sensory books. Many studies have shown the positive effects of an interest and proficiency in reading. The earlier you start, the better.
Reading to your child provides a number of valuable educational benefits. By reading aloud you are exposing them to a large range of words which will help them build a strong and varied vocabulary. It will help them develop listening skills and their attention span, as well as building a starting point for an understanding of the written word. Books can also help to develop an understanding of numeracy, colours, textures and shapes. Other ways you can encourage learning at home can be found here.
Storytelling with your child is a magical shared activity. Bedtime stories have always dominated evening routines – it’s a great way for children to unwind, to enjoy some quiet time with mum or dad and switch off from modern day distractions before bed. Having that uninterrupted time together every single night is one of the greatest benefits of storytelling.
A child’s imagination is unlimited, it just needs to be given the chance to explore and grow! Enjoying storytelling together allows your child access to a whole new world, every time you open a new book.
Learning about the world
Imagination aside, storytelling with your child can give them an insight and introduction to the real world. Learning about different cultures, races, countries and ways of life through reading, is a fantastic way to give them access to things they may not see every day. It’s also a great way to teach them about right and wrong, manners and morals, and even difficult topics such as death.
How to encourage reading
In a world full of technology, it’s hard to keep your little ones away from the iPad, TV or computer. Encourage a love of books by introducing story time from a young age. Keep your house well stocked with a variety of fun stories, and make it part of your routine. It doesn’t have to be bedtime – perhaps you start each day with a storytelling session. Make story time interactive and entertaining, take turns reading aloud to each other. Don’t forget to do the silly voices and animal sound effects – find whatever way you can to engage your child.
Finally, read yourself. Children copy adults, so get your nose in a good book and they’ll soon follow suit. For help with reading at home, take a look at our reading guide.
Development at Toad Hall
Here at Toad Hall Nurseries, we fully believe in the benefits of storytelling; through this we aim to develop skills which will lead to excellent early reading and writing skills.
Our Early Language Programme is designed to promote language development in early childhood, turning our children into high quality readers and speakers, attentive listeners and individuals who understand and enjoy what they are learning.