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Sharing books with your child Nursery 2

Why it is important to share books for enjoyment with your child….

International evidence shows that reading for pleasure leads to:

  • Richer vocabulary and spelling (Sullivan & Brown, 2013)

  • Encourages imagination, empathy and mindfulness of others (Kidd & Castano, 2013)

  • Enhances reader to reader relationships and builds communities (Cremin et al, 2014)

Tips for reading with children of any age

  • Set aside some time
    Find somewhere quiet without any distractions - turn off the TV/radio/computer.

  • Ask your child to choose a book
    Sharing books they have chosen shows you care what they think and that their opinion matters. This means they are more likely to engage with the book.

  • Sit close together
    Encourage your child to hold the book themselves and/or turn the pages.

  • Point to the pictures
    If there are illustrations, relate them to something your child knows. Ask them to describe the characters or situation or what will happen next. Encourage them to tell you the story by looking at the pictures.

  • Encourage your child to talk about the book
    Talking about the characters and their dilemmas helps children understand relationships and is an excellent way for you to get to know each other or discuss difficult issues. Give your child plenty of time to respond. Ask them what will happen next, how a character might be feeling or how the book makes them feel.

  • And lastly, above all - make it fun!
    It doesn't matter how you read with a child, as long as you both enjoy the time together. Don't be afraid to use funny voices - children love this!

Talking points for books.

  • Ask the child if they liked/disliked the book and why.

  • Talk about the characters in the story, 

  • What do they look like? 

  • Were they kind or mean? How do you know?

  • How did they feel? Why?

  • Ask questions about the story using the words ‘When…’, ‘Who…’, ‘What…’, ‘Where …’

  • If they find that easy you can challenge them by asking ‘How…’ and ‘Why…’ questions.

  • Discuss with the child what happened at the beginning, middle and end of the story.

  • Discuss what is happening in the pictures and check your child understands the names of the objects in the picture.


Other things to try.

  • Encourage the child to join in with repeated phrases in the story.

  • When reading a familiar book, leave off the last word of the sentence and see if the child can finish the sentence for you.

  • Let your child be the storyteller. They can ‘read’ the pictures to you and talk about what is happening on the page. 

  • Make animal noises or sound effects to bring the story to life.

  • Visit your local library and sign your child up for a library card for free.


Please visit for lots more tips and ideas, including videos.

Reading Workshop For Families. 


Why read to your child?

  • Special family time.

  • Exposed to a variety of books. 

  • Hear a fluent, expressive role model. 

  • Supports a calm atmosphere as part of their bedtime routine. 

  • Supports their knowledge of the world. 

  • IT’S FUN!!!


What should you read to your children?

  • Anything they enjoy!

  • A range of books; traditional tales, joke books, non-fiction, myths, science fiction etc. 

  • Reading material around them -street signs, menus, leaflets etc. 


Why hear your child read?

  • Practice their phonics and fluency. 

  • Supports comprehension -ask them questions. 

  • Practice their expression and knowledge of punctuation. 

  • Supports confidence building. 

  • Supports their knowledge of the world. 


How often should you read to and hear your child read?

  • Every day.


Questions you could ask your children:


All books:

  • Can you find these features… title, author, illustrator, blurb, title page, publisher. What are their jobs?

  • What kind of a book is this?

  • Who do you think would enjoy this book?

  • Why has the author written…?

  • What does this word… mean?



  • What do you think will happen in this book?

  • What do you think will happen next?

  • What happened in the story?

  • Who is your favourite character?

  • Why did they do/ say that?



  • Can you remember any facts?

  • Can you find any of these features… contents page, subheading, introduction, photograph, caption, label, brackets, glossary, index. What are their jobs?

  • Where do you think they got their information from?  

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