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Early Reading

Encouraging your child to enjoy books will put them at a great advantage when they start school. Let them turn the pages and pretend to read. Follow the words with your finger, and get them to engage with the story by asking them to guess what happens next and describe the pictures.

Make the story come alive by use funny voices, toys and actions.
Encourage your child to read to you. Follow the words with your finger and sound out the words (c-a-t: cat).
Praise your child for trying hard at their reading. Reassure them that it’s okay to make mistakes.

Point out all the words around you: labels on food, on street signs, on advertising billboards. Say the words and get your child to repeat.


Activity idea: Find your family’s top five reads. Ask everyone in your family to name their favourite reads – it could be a book, magazine, comic or newspaper. Involve grandparents, cousins, friends, and neighbours.


Small Talk is a website from the National Literacy Trust. It helps parents turn the everyday activities they’re already doing with their child into new opportunities to fill their child’s world with words.   Words for Life | National Literacy Trust | Words for Life

Small Talk

Small Talk is a new resource from the National Literacy Trust to help parents chat, play and read with their child every day, wherever they are. Find more free resources and activities at