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  • HCA Blogs . Clare Pryke

Reading with your child.

Not only is it pleasurable for the adult, as well as the child, but reading aloud

is so important on so many levels. There is nothing quite like cuddling up on the sofa

to settle down together to share a story. It formulates such happy memories.

My own children can still recall some of their much loved stories which we shared all

those years ago.

Introducing books to babies

It's never too early to start reading to your child. Babies enjoy holding onto a book and helping to turn the pages.

Start with board books, cloth and bath books. Books with pop-ups or 'lift the flaps' all help

engage the child with the additional interaction. They will delight in rhythmic patterns in rhymes and stories. Choose stories with repeated refrains, talk about sounds such as a car

'broom broom'. Point to animals, or objects, whatever they may be and name them.Encourage your child to do the same.

It's a good idea to register your little one at the local library if you can, where they will be given their very own library card. You perhaps might like to start attending 'story time' sessions.

Your baby will appreciate the social interaction with the other children, and enjoy the older ones pointing to & discussing characters in the book.This will all help to develop language

and listening skills.

Toddlers and beyond

When they are old enough let them choose whatever books appeal to them most,

even if it means having to read the same one again and again!.

And don't forget, it also sets a good example to your child to see their parent reading , and

being surrounded by literature at home. Create an environment rich in print!.

Share books from different cultures. You might even use a story with a different language to

your own. This allows your child to hear a range of different languages .

Its fun, and certainly amusing for your little one, if you can use different voices to tell the story whilst reading. Go on, become animated!. Children love this!.

Don't miss out on factual books and poetry too. Broaden their horizons, fuel their imagination

and help them build a greater understanding of the world.

As children get older, discuss the content of the stories your read. Ask them "what comes next", and to predict the outcome. Point out specific words in the text. This is all a preparation for understanding the written word and learning to read.

There is such a fantastic variety of literature to share with your little ones.

Enjoy this time, as hopefully they will be as enthusiastic to sit and read a book

on their own, just as you once were with them!.

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