Reading. I love it, the 5 year old just about tolerates it & the 7 month old diva thinks it’s fun to chew the pages. But that doesn’t mean we don’t try. And once they get the hang of it, the world of books & articles is their oyster. So, here’s how to get them started & stay interested, from the baby stage right through to pre-school. Er, happy reading…

Before they’re here

Ok, I can hear some of you snickering in the back there, but pipe down, there’s evidence that this can help with development. A 2013 study by the University of Washington in Seattle found babies who were read to in the womb were able to differentiate between their mum’s voice & others around them. So, if you’re on board, give it a try. Pick a kids’ classic or narrate what you’re reading, War & Peace (ahem), The Odyssey, Glamour… it’s totes up to you...

Teeny tiny bubbas

It’s never too early for your little bookworm. Newborns engage with black & white geometric shapes: FACT. So start with these types of books. My 7 month old is obsessed with these Wee Gallery Stroller cards, which feature black & white patterns. Yes she’ll chew them, but she’s also mesmerised by the simple colours. It might be a fluke, but we’re sure she’s said ‘bird’ a few times when we’ve been reading them to her… wonder if we can get her on Little Big Shots?

Getting older

So black & white books and cards will see you through a good few months, but as they start focusing more, they’ll start to recognise colour too… If your babe is anything like my diva pants, you’ll know paper books are way outta the question, so invest in some soft books, which they can chew to their heart’s delight. Then, when you can finally prize it out of their hands, read it to them. My bookworm adores the Petit Collage Organic Soft Book Set, it’s got a teether too - need I say more…

Role play

The moment you’ve been looking forward to your whole adult life… Yes, the time has come to sing, dance & make weird animal noises all to benefit your mini-me. Book got a cow in it? It’s time to moo. Is it raining in bookland? Do the signs… Loving the role play? Invest in a finger puppet book, which will you give you both hours of fun. Go on, send us a video we’d love to see it - for educational purposes obvs :)

And while we’re on the topic, it doesn’t have to end there. We got our 5 year old into the world of imaginative reading by acting out his fave book. All you need is a few props. He loved one about pirates, so a few bath toys in a bucket while the story was being read, got his imagination going. Cool hey!

Older kids

Trust me, I know what it’s like. As soon as bedtime comes you can’t wait to tuck them in & go have some you time… But 5 minutes of reading does a world of good. Let them pick a book & choose your place to read it. Lil’ one got a problem? These books by Bookspeed are great for teaching them about life in a fun, non preachy way.

So now you’ve had a read, you know what the next steps are… Happy shopping!