Encouraging a Love of Reading

I confess, I love books. I've always been a reader so encouraging a love of reading in my children has always been important to me since becoming a parent. Now as a teacher, I have other parents asking how best to encourage reading at home so I'm sharing some of the tips that have worked for me in encouraging a love of reading with my children. 


Brought to you by Nuffnang and Disney Junior.

Encouraging a Love of Reading - Tips for reading with your child | you clever monkey



- Read and read often. We also read early. All of my children have been read to from birth because of my love for books. Many studies show that reading from an early age helps develop children's speech and language providing them with a solid foundation ahead of starting school. As parents, we are our child's first teacher and, consequently, responsible for their language and speech development in their early years. How we interact with our children is of great consequence - the more language a child is exposed to each day increases their vocabulary and reading a variety of good books makes this task easier.

- Build some reading time into your every day. When home with my first child, we would  read together most mornings after breakfast and then again before bed. Once there was two to read with, reading straight after lunch gave us all some quiet time together and was a perfect time for discussion too. Young children value routine and what better way to end your day than by enjoying a good story together?

- Make reading a positive experience for you both. At around 12-15 months my second child couldn't sit through a whole book, often leaving my lap to go and get the next book so we started reading more interactive books instead - sturdy ones that required her to touch and feel, open and shut parts. 


- Find new books to enjoy together. Seek out content that will stimulate your child's imagination although finding suitable books can prove challenging if you live in a location like we do away from bookshops with shelves of books ready for browsing. Perhaps that was why I was excited to see a second season of Disney Junior's 'The Book of Once Upon A Time' being added again to the Disney Junior channel 709 line-up (for all Foxtel subscribing homes). 'The Book of Once Upon A Time'  is a locally-produced, interactive storytelling series hosted by Kate Mulvany, an Australian actor and playwright, and the new season premiered Monday 24th August at 7.10pm during Book Week. You can enjoy more opportunities to bond with your child as part of their bedtime routine with a new story airing every night at 7.10pm on the Disney Junior channel. Each story also ends with the 'Land of Once Upon A Time' lullaby - perfect for encouraging children to prepare for bedtime. 

Encouraging a Love of Reading - Tips for reading with your child | you clever monkey
Disney does storytelling better than most. Just think of every favourite family movie you've ever seen... Snow White, Aladdin, Cinderella, The Parent Trap, Sleeping Beauty, Frozen, Inside Out. Disney Junior's 'The Book of Once Upon A Time' brings its classic storytelling to life on the small screen whilst still paying tribute to traditions of story time with turning pages, rich character voices and re-enactment with touches of animation that ignite the imagination  and curiosity of children and adults alike. 


Encouraging a Love of Reading - Tips for reading with your child | you clever monkey

Each story can also be viewed anytime on the website so if you missed Monday's first episode 'Snow White and the Great Jewel Hunt' you can still see it here at the Disney Story Room.





You can see the first season online at the Disney Story Room and 'The Book of Once Upon A Time' featured Disney stories are also available as eBooks from the Disney Story Central app, available to download from iTunes. A show like 'The Book of Once Upon A Time' provide opportunities for children to see the stories and characters they love come to life from the pages of a book hooking those more reluctant readers connecting with their playful imaginations. Hearing these familiar stories retold in a different format assists in the development of early literacy skills while good storytelling gives a child knowledge, be it promoting early maths concepts, social skills, moral values, a healthy lifestyle or developing good basic habits as part of their social and emotional wellbeing.

- Read and re-read the same book. This can help children develop early literacy skills and later, help them become more confident, fluent readers themselves as they begin to read independently. Reading is a skill that needs to be learnt - mostly through practice.

- Make books available to your children so they can explore them at their own pace. This can also be a useful way to find out what sort of books your child is interested in. We have books in their bedrooms, in a basket in the lounge room which I rotate books through regularly and another in the kitchen next to a comfy chair. 


- Take them to your local library and let them choose their own books or help them find books that focus what interests them. We brought home 15 different books about space recently from our library. Last year they couldn't get enough of Frozen so the eBook version from this season's 'The Book of Once Upon A Time' will be a must for long car trips when we can't take lots of different books with us. Stories from ‘Winnie the Pooh’, ‘Aladdin’ and ‘Sleeping Beauty’ will also feature in this season.


- Let your children catch you reading! There is no more powerful way to show a child how much you value reading than to see you enjoying a good book yourself.


Remember that every child is a unique individual and what works for one may not work for another. The approach taken with my three children has been slightly different each time but the end result sees them all loving books and loving reading.


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14 comments

  1. I totally agree that children need to also see you reading as well. All sorts of different texts for different purposes, but pleasure being one of those as well. Going to have to check out this Disney series, looks great. Thanks for sharing :)

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    1. Absolutely Deborah - as adults we read books we enjoy and stop reading the ones we don't. Disney does this sort of storytelling so well so definitely worth a look. Thanks for your comment :)

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  2. We don't have pay TV so it's cool that we can see this online too!

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    1. I thought so too Kate - it will be a great one for watching in the car I think.

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  3. Oh this looks great, thanks for sharing! We have read to all of our children from birth too.

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    1. Great Sara - the more we read with them, the more words they will come to know :)

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  4. A great way to mix up screen time!

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    1. I thought so too Kate! Thanks for visiting :)

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  5. This is a really great list. I'm finding it hard to get enough reading time with all three kids so I love the new Disney show as an addition to our one-on-one reading time!!

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    1. I hear you Chelsea! It was more difficult when my children were all under five but it gets easier and the benefits of reading with them make all the juggling worth it :)

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  6. We love going to the library and its a great way to sit and read a variety of books together. Great post. That Disney series is gorgeous. I love how they present it like real story time with page turning etc.

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    1. It's really what you'd expect from Disney - everything they do is quality. We loved our local library near our old house as it had such a great children's section. So inviting.

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  7. Great tips! We love reading too. I've been taking the kids to the library twice a week (usually) since they were each about 4 months old, and I love that they are as comfortable with books as they are with a playground.

    I definitely agree that it's great for them to reread the same story told in a slightly different way, especially while they are young. The familiar storyline helps them to comprehend new words or nuances in meaning that might go over their heads otherwise.

    I'm loving the sound of this new Disney storytelling. I've been watching short YouTube clips with my daughter when I brush her hair in the morning (as it's the only way I can get her to sit still) and it is so hard to find things that are both appropriate and educational. This sounds like the perfect solution.

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    1. You should definitely check out The Book of Once Upon A Time clips Danya. My three loved the first episode and so we had to watch season one while waiting for more from season two :)

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