Reading hints and tips


Reading hints and tips

A little step every day to foster your child's love of  reading

  • Read with your child for a few minutes every day. Gradually increase the time you spend reading.
  • Invite your older children to read to the smaller ones.
  • Encourage your child to read street names, store names, posters, flyers, the back of cereal boxes, and so on.
  • Visit your local library every week. It’s a real treasure trove!
  • 0–2 years

Point at objects, colours and shapes in the book and name them.

  • 3–5 years

If your child likes a book, read it to him often!

  • 6–12 years

Even if your child reads on his own, keep on reading to him or ask him to read you a story.


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Others hints and tips

Age 0–4: Sow the joy of reading

Bring your reading alive

When you read to your child, especially if he or she can’t read yet, bring the story alive by singing or miming some extracts, changing your voice to match the characters in the book, or in many other creative ways. In other words, let your imagination run free, and you’ll push your child to do the same later on.


Happiness is in repetition

Frequently re-read your children’s favourite stories when they ask for them. Because they love them, and hearing familiar words and often seeing them in print helps children develop their vocabulary and eventually become good readers. In doing so, you’ll be helping them do well at school.


Age 9–12: Stimulate a lifelong appetite for reading

On a practical note

Encourage reading activities that present themselves in daily life: read the TV guide to choose a show, video game notices to find out how to play them, grocery store flyers, movie schedules, anything they come across. Discovering the practical side of reading will give your child additional motivation to keep on learning.


All ages: So reading becomes part of family life!

An atmosphere that makes all the difference

Create an atmosphere that makes people want to read, and have fun with books as a family. It comes down to finding your own ways of making books visible at home, easily accessible, and central to an atmosphere conducive to the joy of reading.

© Martine Doucet

Here are some ideas to try out:

  • Leave books in unexpected places, such as the car, bathroom, lunchbox, deck or purse, to foster children’s contact with books, and even keep them amused when they have to wait.
  • Arrange books and magazines for all tastes and ages in a lively, attractive way: in a coloured bookcase, with the children choosing how they are sorted and placed, in a basket in the garden, or in a pretty box in the sitting room.
  • Set up one or more comfortable, attractive reading areas at home where relaxation and comfort will combine when reading takes place.
  • Give yourselves books as a family.
  • Organize family outings to the library or bookstore where everyone can choose their books.


Set up a daily ritual

Read for fun, each day, with your child. When he’s tiny, he listens to the sound of your voice, and looks at the pictures and colours. When he’s bigger, he still enjoys being told stories, and can now join in the reading. Encourage discussions with him before, during and after reading.