Ideas for how you can help your child

Ideas for how you can help your child to develop their literacy skills:

Story Time: Sharing Books

Set aside a regular quiet time with them, perhaps at bedtime or in a comfy chair during the day.

Encourage them to choose what you read together at this time. Don't worry if they want the same thing over and over again, becoming familiar with a book will help children to identify some of the words and phrases they see and hear.
storytime books

Try using different or funny voices for the various characters in the story.

As you read, move your finger from left to right across the words to draw attention to the print. Encourage them also to turn the pages when you get to the bottom of each page. This will help them to understand how books work and how to handle them.

Talk about the pictures together, both on the cover and inside the book. Perhaps ask them what is happening or ask them to tell you about the characters in the pictures.


Encourage your child by showing them that you are a reader as well. Keep books, magazines or newspapers around the house so that they can see that you value reading. Whenever you are reading something, talk to them about what you are looking at and explain why you are looking at it. It might be a book but it could also be one of the many other things that everyone reads in a normal day: magazines, TV guides, e-mails, websites, road signs, billboards on the street...

Borrow Books!

kids booksFamiliarising them with the library is an important step in making them realise the value of books. In the early days, pick out a selection that you think they might like and encourage them to choose a few books from these to take home, perhaps ones about their favourite animal or hobby.


Reading through Play

Ask them if they can think of words which sound alike or 'rhyme'. Give them a few examples of your own to start them off.

Helping your Child to Write

You can help them take those first vital steps towards being able to write.writing

Think of all the things that you might write in a normal day: notes, letters, forms, telephone messages, emails and lists. If you can explain to your children what you are writing, why you are writing it and how you are setting it out, this will help them to understand more easily the purpose and importance of writing. You can also get them to write things with you such as shopping lists and birthday cards. Talking about what you are writing together will help them to understand the link between the spoken and the written word.


When children first start to make marks on paper, drawing and writing are very much the same thing. However, as children develop, the two aspects will become more distinct. Learning to draw is the first step for your child in realising that marks on paper mean something, both to them and to other people who look at their pictures.

You can encourage your children by asking them to draw a picture about a story they have just read with you.

If you can label what children have drawn, they will start to see the difference between drawing and writing.

Drawing also helps to build up hand control, which helps with the process of learning to write. You can also get them to practise this by playing with building bricks, Lego, beads and Play-Doh.

Here are some extra Activity Sheets that you can download and go through with your child to help them understand the important link between the written and spoken word in everyday life.


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