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Expert Advice

40 month old: The benefits of early literacy will set your toddler up for a love of reading for life

You really can can read the world to your child.

By Now to Love Staff
Learning to read is one of life's essential achievements but at this age, you're really focusing on what's known as early literacy - skills that will allow them to develop a love of books and reading.
While bedtime books are a great routine and a chance for snuggles and bonding, you will also be helping with speech development as well as recognition of colours, animal names and sounds and the alphabet.
Another skill a three-plus-year-old will struggle with is to listen to a story without talking or taking over - regular reading will help this. If they continue to get bored quickly try reading rhyming songs or short kids' poems by the likes of Dr Suess, Roald Dahl and Spike Milligan.
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Shared books are a great chance for snuggles and bonding. Image: Getty.
Other than regularly reading to them, strategies that will encourage your child's early literacy:
  • Show them you're a reader. They will model on you reading a book, so do this rather than just texting or watching TV.
  • Join the local library and use it as one of your playtime destinations when it's not park weather. It's great for them to learn the 'rules' of the library and to choose their own books.
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  • Leave books out and make sure they can self-serve them. You will soon find they are sitting on the couch with a book rather than their iPad.
  • Read the world to your child - there are words everywhere and it can be a fun game to spot them on road signs, billboards, magazines, cereal boxes etc.
  • Talk about letters and the sounds they make and sing the alphabet song together.
  • Write them notes, put notes in their lunchbox - 'Have a great day!' or 'I love you'.

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