Reading together with your child, or listening to your child read aloud, can be an amazing pastime. Studies have shown that children who learn to read from an early age experience less difficulty with grasping the concept of the written language and are often more developed when it comes to formal schooling, than children who are not read to on a regular basis. As well as being beneficial to your child’s learning aptitude, reading also has health benefits as it is proven to reduce stress – being a non-competitive activity – and also nurtures a child’s natural inquisitive mind, allowing them to explore their world with a more open and creative mind.
There is a number of books that are great for beginning readers and although it is crucial to find out what your child enjoys to read, it is also recommended that you read at least a few of the classics, just to give your child a good all round basic knowledge of reading.
5. Where’s Wally? By Martin Handford
Although this isn’t quite a book for reading, finding Wally allows your child to improve their concentration skills and also helps them to identify faces. The simple premise of the activity is great because to find Wally appears to be an easy task, but your children could spend a good amount of time poring over the book trying to find the pesky guy!
4. The Book of Baths by Karen Ruelle
Ideal for toddlers and babies, this short little book shows pictures of various different animals and humans having a bath. The language used in the book is short and onomatopoeic and helps to aid the visual and auditory memory of your child, using short rhyming phrases like ‘fish flips’ and ‘bug dips’.
3. Nothing by Mick Inkpen
Better suited for young readers around four or five years old, this is a fantastic short story book with a motto at the end. The story follows a little lost bear-like toy as he finds out his family has moved away and he tries to get back to them. There are a few great messages in the book, with issues being tackled such as moving to a new place as well as moving forward to improve yourself.
2. Hide-and-Seek Elmer by David McKee
This fantastic book is about Elmer, an elephant with a very differently coloured coat. The book follows Elmer as he tries to play hide-and-seek with all his friends. It is a lift-the-flap book which helps both your child’s motor skills and their ability to recognise the different colours and animals.
1. The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
A fun and friendly book with lots of colourful pictures. This book will help your child to learn numbers as well as improve their memory through repetition. The Very Hungry Caterpillar is also great to teach your children about the different fruits, the days of the week and the concept of time. All in all an extremely helpful book for first time readers.
As a primary school classroom assistant with a pre-school age child of her own, Laura Spencer is very interested in early years education. She writes about such issues for Red Box Teacher Recruitment, experienced providers of temporary teachers as well as auxiliary staff for schools in London.