Read with your child
Everyone can raise a reader
If there’s one thing anyone can do to improve a child’s life, and improve the community around them, it’s to make sure the child can read.
Research shows that people who read well are more likely to do well at school, make friends and have a better social life, get a good job, live in better housing, be healthier and live longer.
Even if you are not a confident reader yourself, you can make sure children in your family are.
The National Literacy Trust runs a website called Words for Life, which includes some useful tips on reading aloud to children.
Share your day
Most brain development occurs from birth to age two, so babies and toddlers need stimulation as much as they need nourishing food. The best way to stimulate babies’ brains is to connect with them from the moment they are born.
- Gaze directly into your baby’s eyes
- Talk to them
- Wait for their responses
- Respond to the noises they make
This stimulates your baby’s brain, helping to strengthen the connections that make learning possible.
It helps them to learn to talk; good speaking and listening skills help them to become a good reader and writer and being able to communicate and talk will help your baby make friends and develop good relationships.
The Words for Life website also includes tips for engaging with your baby or toddler.
For older children
If you can spare ten minutes a day to read with a child you can make a huge difference to their development. You don’t have to read a book, you could read a comic, magazine article or a story you have made up yourself.
Share your tips for books your children have enjoyed with other parents on twitter #raisingreaders
Everyone can raise a reader.
Useful links and support near you
- Bookstart – a free pack of books for each baby in Norfolk before their first birthday and another pack just before they start school. Includes special packs for children who have problems with sight or hearing, or whose first language isn’t English
- Library services for children, young people and families
- Norfolk Libraries for babies and children – no overdue charges for under fives
- Norfolk Libraries activities for young children - like baby bounce and rhyme time
- Norfolk Children's Centres – find the nearest one to you, with free activities and support available
- Norfolk Adult Education – improve your own reading and writing skills
- Find out more about how our museums around the county support reading
Why not join a book club, or set up one yourself?