Read with your child little and often

Reading with your children for a short time every night is vital to help establish good reading habits, a National Literacy Trust adviser has told asked the adviser whether reading for a rushed few minutes every night was better than reading for longer a couple of nights a week. It’s a question many busy parents ponder.
The Trust’s Words for Life expert Abigail Moss said: “Reading little and often is really important to establish the idea of a routine and that reading is fun and enjoyable, which is really the key thing. If children find reading fun and enjoyable it makes it intrinsic and makes them want to do it and that is linked to doing better in the end all round.”
She added that it didn’t need to be the same adult reading with the children every night. Siblings could read or listen to their brothers and sisters reading, although parents were the most important role models for their children.
The answer to’s question features in a video full of tips on reading with your children and is launched as part of a massive book giveaway in supermarkets beginning this week and a campaign to get parents to revisit a set of ‘Treasured Tales’ with their children.
The video comes after a poll of 1,000 parents by the National Literacy Trust showed that nine out of 10 parents would like to spend more time developing their child’s literacy skills, but one child in three does not own a book.
To take part in the promotion, look for unique codes on the leaflet inside all promotional packs of McCain Smiles, sold at major supermarkets. Collect two codes and head to to choose from six fairytales on offer – your choice will be posted to you free of charge. will be launching a competition to win copies of some of the books.
To watch the video, click here.

The Trust’s tips on encouraging your children to read

Read yourself

Your kids copy you all the time so make sure they see you reading. By copying they will gain confidence and get to be great readers too.

Make time to read

Make sure you have a regular slot in which to read every day. This makes sure you don’t forget and stops everyone forgetting the storyline.

Be positive

Praise your child for their efforts reading – it’s fine for them to make mistakes. It’s supposed to be fun!

Point with a finger

Encourage them to follow the words with their finger.

Give them time

Let your child make a guess before you tell them the word. Help them to get the first sound or try breaking the word up into smaller sections.

Get them to read aloud…

…to you, friends, pets or even their toys. Hearing their own voice helps your child practice their speaking and builds confidence.

Let them read their favourites

It’s good to read the same books over and over again as repetition helps to build your child’s language.

Involve the whole family

Get older children to read to younger ones – not only some valuable time off for mums and dads, but younger kids will follow their example and practise their own reading.

Don’t just read books

Encourage your child to read newspapers, TV guides, comics, cookery books and magazines too.

Do the voices

Liven up story time by making each character talk differently – this makes the story come to life for your children.

Picture credit: Ambro and

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