What to read to your baby

Reading books isn't the only way to learn words. There are words written everywhere, from the side of a bus to the cereal box on the breakfast table. Discover how reading signs, advertisements and food packets to your child can help them start reading early.

Mail and posters

Posters and billboard advertisements are great fun to read with your child. Tell your toddler what it says. You can talk about the colours and the pictures.

You’ll be surprised by your toddler’s take on what the posters mean and it will keep you both entertained while waiting for the bus or in a queue (it will probably make other people smile too). The same applies for letters and catalogues delivered to your home.

Reading words on food packets

Babies love feeding times. You could read aloud to them words on food packets such as  cereal boxes, yoghurt pots or sauce bottles on the kitchen table.

Shop signs

Does your child know what a ‘bank’ or a ‘hairdresser’ is? There’s a whole world out there for your baby to get to know and you can start by introducing them to your local high street.

Read them the shop signs and the window displays. Soon they’ll be pointing out their favourite shops to you.

Everyday reading

The whole world’s a book. From food packets to street signs, words are everywhere you look and are often read without even noticing. So as you walk along the street or travel by bus with your toddler, you can make any journey more fun by pointing out the words you see and saying them aloud.

It may feel strange because you’re used to reading without realising.  But it will soon feel natural and your child will think you know everything.

More useful links

Information based on similar messages from Play Talk Read Scotland.

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