Reading with your baby

0 - 2 years

Linked to Early Years Curriculum

  • Choose books that use rhyme and rhythm and emphasise these through your reading. As well as using your voice, try clapping, tapping, tickling or using percussive instruments or noisy toys.
  • Encourage your baby to join in with actions, such as waving or making faces
  • For very young babies, encourage a reaction through visual stimuli. As well as the book’s illustrations, you could use any of their toys that might be related to text of the book.
  • Use everyday objects to support your telling of the story. For example, for Goldilocks and the Three Bears, you and your baby could pretend to taste porridge from a spoon.
  • Use onomatopoeic (such as animal noises or ‘brrrrm’ for car) sound effects and encourage older babies to do the same-babies and young children also love linked acts of physicality here-a ‘brrrm’ noise could be raspberries blown on to a tummy, or a ducks quack could be a loud kiss on their face or neck. Alternatively, you could use your little one’s favourite noisy toys.
  • Use your voice-give different characters different voices and use a wide range of intonations and volumes.
  • For older verbal children encourage discussion about what is happening in the story, particularly around characters thoughts and feelings. This will not only develop their emotional understanding and empathy but will prepare them to draw inferences on texts which is an important skill they will cover once they start school.

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