How to support your child learn to read

How to support your child learn to read

This post is sponsored by The book people. This post contains affiliate links.

My eldest child (F), started school in September last year. She’s still in the very early stages of learning to read and write. I strongly believe that one of the most important things a parent can do to support their child at school is helping them find a love of reading and support them with learning to read. Our school constantly stress that a love of reading is the best foundation for education you can give a child. Reading is such an important skill that supports all other areas of education.

F is a reluctant reader. She adores listening to books and looking at the pictures in them but at the moment she has little interest in actually reading the words herself. I’m not too worried as she’s not yet 5 and as long as she loves books, I think learning to read will naturally follow. We are trying to support her with reading and encourage her though so today I thought I’d share some ideas for how you can support your child with reading. Perhaps you are wondering how to help a child struggling with reading or perhaps you are wondering what the best learn to read apps are. hope fully this post will help.

As you know, we love picture books and one of my favourite places to pick up children’s books is The book people. I love them for their competitive prices and a fantastic selection of books. When they asked me to collaborate with them it was an easy decision. I chose a selection of their “hand-picked favourites” to help support F with reading. Read on to find out how we are encouraging her.


My tips for supporting your child with reading

It’s never too early to start reading to your baby.

I really believe this and we have been reading to both our girls since they were babies. I shared lots of book recommendations for introducing books at a young age in my post Best books for babies and toddlers.


Make books accessible.

We have books all over our house. Both girls have bookcases in their bedrooms, both the traditional type and ones that make the book covers more visually appealing to children. These are cheap and easy to put up picture rails from IKEA.


How to support your child with reading

We also have children’s picture books downstairs with their toys. This means they don’t just associate books with bedtime stories. I want them to love books and know that we can read them whenever they want to. It really helps to have children’s reading books around for them to pick up whenever they want to.


How to support your child with reading

Make reading to your child a priority.

We very rarely miss bedtime stories. My eldest usually has 3 short picture books before bed. The only time we miss is if we are home late and the girls have fallen asleep in the car. My toddler usually just sits in for one of the stories which is enough for her.

There are plenty of other times you could find time to fit in a short story. I wrote a guest post for The Book Trust last year about finding time to read which is full of ideas that you can try.

Visit the library.

Although we have a big collection of our own books and are fortunate to work with some amazing publishers who keep adding to our collection (find out what children’s books we loved in February) we still visit the library. F loves picking out new books herself. We are fortunate our local library has a fantastic children section with a book train that the girls love. Libraries also often run rhyme time sessions for young children which we loved attending during my maternity leave.

Listen to audiobooks

My girls love listening to stories but sometimes it’s not possible for me to read to them all the time, such as when we are in the car. This is where audiobooks can be really helpful. Audible has 100s of children’s stories. From Julia Donaldson to David Walliams as well as the complete Harry Potter series. Not convinced? why not try Audible free for 30 days?



Support them with learning phonics.

Schools are teaching children phonics as the first steps in teaching a child to read. Phonics is the building blocks of reading. I had to learn phonics myself first as it is not how I learnt to read. You can easily learn phonics online nowadays. Search for Jolly phonic’s videos on Youtube as a start. Jolly phonics uses songs and actions to make learning phonics fun for children. The tunes are so catchy that even my toddler loves the songs. CBeebies also has a great show called alpha blocks.

You can buy lots of resources to help support you child like Read Write Inc. My reading and writing kit that I reviewed or how about a personalised, weekly Post from Panda (£9.99 a month).


Post from Panda


Most recently we discovered a great app called Teach your monster to read. It was recommended to us by F’s school. I’ve been playing it with F and I have realised she can read a lot better than she lets on when I try to get her to read her school reading book.


Follow their interests.

How to support your child with reading


When choosing books for learning to read follow your child’s interests. They will be much more interest in the book if it is on a topic they love. Whilst choosing a selection of books from The Book People for this collaboration I spotted a set of Peppa Pig reading books by Ladybird. I’m hoping that by using books that I know she will enjoy it will motivate her more.


Don’t just read fiction.

As much as we love stories some children may prefer non-fiction. This could be atlases, books about animals or dinosaurs. Whatever their interests you can find an information book that they will love.


Make stories fun.

Reading is about more than just reading the words. Comprehension is important too. Talk about the story and the pictures, perhaps try story stones or make story sacks or baskets for your child’s favourite stories. Find more ideas in a post I wrote at Christmas, gifts to encourage a love of reading.


Be a role model.

Last but not least, be a role model. Let your child see you reading too. Have your books around for them to see. Let them see that you enjoy reading. I don’t find a lot of time to read fiction but I make a point of showing F books with activities in such as this Wild weather book that I was sent or recipes in cookbooks.


How to support your child with reading

How to support your child with reading


Do you have any tips for supporting your child with reading? I’d love to hear them in the comments.

Disclosure – I was sent a selection of books and compensated for my time to write this post for the book people. All words, opinions and photos are my own.


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  1. March 16, 2018 / 6:57 am

    Great ideas- your bookcases for kids look so inviting

    • March 18, 2018 / 4:12 pm

      Thank you. I love these shelves.

  2. March 17, 2018 / 8:06 am

    My boys love reading. We’ve got those Read It Yourself books at home and they both often pick those above other stories. I love listening my 5-year-old read and how happy he is when he can do it. My 3 year old would sit there all day and listen to stories! He loves trying to read them back to me too. x

  3. March 17, 2018 / 8:07 am

    I couldn’t agree more with these tips – my number one focus for my daughter’s education is to ensure that she loves reading, so that she can learn independently when the time comes. Also it’s so good for the imagination!

    I have used apps to help my her to learn phonics, flash cards and she had a library card when she was a baby to join in with reading session in the mornings.

    I think you’ve hit the nail on the head with this.

  4. March 17, 2018 / 8:14 am

    We took my eldest son to the library today (he’s 7) he absolutely loved it. I fear libraries will close soon if we don’t support them enough. And it’s free!

  5. March 17, 2018 / 8:38 am

    I couldn’t agree more that reading to our children is so important. My little one is 3 and totally book mad. Our house feels like a library sometimes, there are books everywhere! Your tip about reading in front of our children is one I need to practice more, I listen to a lot of audio books when I’m driving, but don’t read that many books at home and generally when I do, it’s when I’m in bed just before going to sleep.

  6. March 17, 2018 / 3:52 pm

    I’ve always loved reading and would devour books as a child. Sadly my son hasn’t inherited that love, but I’m working hard to develop it. We’ve just got him a library card which he thinks is the most exciting thing ever, so I really recommend that for reluctant readers.

    • March 18, 2018 / 4:13 pm

      That sounds like a good start. My two love visiting the library.

  7. March 17, 2018 / 4:14 pm

    Lots of great tips. Definitely agree with the being a role model tip too, children are great mimics aren’t they, and they love to copy what you are doing! Happy Reading!

    • March 18, 2018 / 4:14 pm

      I just wish I could find the time or energy to read novels!

  8. March 17, 2018 / 10:31 pm

    We love our bedtime stories in the Roversi house. My son can be found reading to “Baby Bob” too sometimes. He has a box in his room that’s the bit over the stairs. We used Ikea spice racks to make book shelves and I put all his smaller, picture or interactive books on there for him. It’s his own little reading spot. I’m going to look into the Read Write Inc stuff as that’s what he is doing at pre School #KCACOLS

    • March 18, 2018 / 4:14 pm

      The ikea spice racks make great book shelves.

  9. March 18, 2018 / 12:45 pm

    Reading is very important and fun too in a way since it can be a source of adventures for the imagination. You can also get ebooks for their tablets so they know that they can read there too. I have one free on Amazon today if interested. 😊 #kcacols

  10. March 18, 2018 / 6:53 pm

    My three kids love reading books and the pick books up themselves, which I really like. I need to read more to them at night time. It’s such an important thing to do. We have 100s of books but they do need sorting now .#KCACOLS

  11. March 18, 2018 / 10:22 pm

    Great post! It’s so important to support our children with their reading. We have always made books a huge part of our lives, even when they were babies, and now we practice our phonics all the time even in ways they aren’t realising!

  12. March 19, 2018 / 10:19 am

    I agree you can never start too young – reading to babies is so good for them and you do find that they start to pick up simple words as a young age and then gradually learn their phonics at school.

  13. March 19, 2018 / 1:08 pm

    Something that I know can help reluctant readers is to encourage them to tell stories of their own — fictionalized or real… and as a parent, teacher or tutor, to ask them lots of questions to flesh out the details.

  14. March 19, 2018 / 8:27 pm

    I haven’t got any other tips and would use all of yours! I’d definitely, without a doubt say to read to them from newborn. I’m convinced that doing so has given our 8 yo the best literary start in life! She still loves to read and we still have a couple of pages of her latest chapter book as a bedtime ‘story’. I could go on and on, I’m so passionate about our children reading. It gives them so much confidence too and their vocab grows and grows. #kcacols

  15. March 20, 2018 / 8:54 am

    We absolutely love reading in our house! Agree with all of these tips. I recognise most of the books in your pictures too! My toddler absolutely adores reading, sadly I don’t read to her as much as I used to since her little sister came along but we still try to every chance we get. Thanks so much for linking up at #KCACOLS. Hope you come back again next time

  16. March 20, 2018 / 1:36 pm

    These are some great tips! We read bedtime stories every night and even while travelling we make sure it is part of our bedtime routine. We find that activity books and flashcards help with phonics and early writing (pen control), but we don’t push it. I’m a firm believer in encouragement but by not forcing learning onto children. It should be fun for them. We also make books accessible, it’s so cute when the boys pick out a book and ask me to read it.

  17. March 20, 2018 / 5:31 pm

    Great tips shared Claire.
    We also use a car book basket which has proved super useful not only for long and short journeys but also for those times when I’ve forgotten to take activities to friends/meals out with my girls. #KLTR

  18. March 21, 2018 / 7:05 am

    My eldest is nearly 5 and has struggled a bit getting to grips with word blending and phonics but is getting there. She loves nothing more than storytime though and my youngest (18 months) would happily sit and look at picture / board books for hours. I just need to teach her that the flaps in books aren’t for ripping!! 🙈 I have very fond memories of The Book People coming to my school and workplace and I couldn’t help but buy something every single time!! 😂

  19. March 21, 2018 / 8:16 am

    Henry loves to read and it’s so important to encourage it especially in this day and age where technology is a huge part of life.

  20. March 21, 2018 / 5:29 pm

    I agree with reading lots of different things. My boys are so different that I have to change methods of teaching for both of them.

  21. March 22, 2018 / 9:19 am

    We are really lucky that my 3 have inherited my love of reading too, it’s such a wonderful pastime

  22. Cat Williams
    March 22, 2018 / 9:34 am

    Some fab tips and I totally agree. We’ve read to our son from being days old and he had a library membership before he could walk. Books are such an amazing thing to have.

  23. March 22, 2018 / 4:14 pm

    Amazing tips! My girls love reading books like their mother. 🙂 x

  24. March 22, 2018 / 11:49 pm

    This has served as a great reminder for me as this is a priority for mine. Aaron is meant to read 4 times a week for school and doesn’t at all now and we’ve given up bedtime stories and really MUST re-introduce them. Thanks for this post it’s been a much needed nudge xx

  25. March 23, 2018 / 8:58 am

    My daughter’s both love books and we are always looking for new ones, we visit the library regularly, but I also love to buy the bundles of books from The Book People as they are such great value

  26. March 23, 2018 / 2:42 pm

    Great ideas and those Peppa Pig books look great, we got some similar Thomas The Tank engine Ones from the library that were the same band as her reading books and were great 🙂

  27. March 25, 2018 / 8:44 pm

    We read every night and have done for the past few months. My son is 19 months old and it was hard to get into the routine at first but now he asks for stories during the day too so it’s paid off. #kcacols

  28. March 29, 2018 / 11:00 am

    I love this, I have always been so lucky with Freddie as he absolutely loves to read. In fact its one of the only times hes quiet!!!

  29. March 29, 2018 / 2:40 pm

    Love this! My one year old adores her books! I can’t wait until she begins understanding them a bit more. We have them mixed in with her toys and she pulls them out just as much as any other toy.
    These are great tips!

  30. March 29, 2018 / 3:22 pm

    Great ideas, all of them. We are pretty good at using the library, but I am lacking at being a good reading role model at the moment- something to work on there! #bloggerpinparty

  31. March 31, 2018 / 8:10 pm

    Great tips about encouraging a love of reading. We have books all over our house too, my kids love to listen to stories and I always say yes when they ask for a story.

  32. April 10, 2018 / 4:21 pm

    This is a fantastic skill to have. Like you we have a range of books all over the house and letters in the bath as well as on the fridge. #Bloggerpinparty

    • Claire
      April 10, 2018 / 7:27 pm

      I’m glad I’m not the only one with books and letters everywhere!

  33. April 12, 2018 / 6:51 am

    I agree it is good to not just read fiction but to read a whole mix of books. Thanks for sharing this lovely post with KLTR. I love your photos too and the bookshelf!

  34. April 13, 2018 / 3:30 pm

    I love this post and I absolutely agree with all of your points. We do all of this in our house and it really works. The non fiction books is a great point too, when I see my children getting interesting in a part of nature or an event getting a non fiction book to increase the idea really engages them #KLTR

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