This age is key for development of speech and language and you might notice your child using new words and phrases almost every day. If you can spare ten minutes a day to read with your child you can make a huge difference to their development. You don’t have to read a book, you could read a comic, magazine or a story you have made up yourself.

By 3 years: Children will be saying a lot more words during this time. They will recognise the names and pictures of most common objects and love looking at books. Let them hold the book and choose what they are interested in to talk about. Children of this age enjoy simple stories with pictures.

By 4 years: Your 4 year old will be able to take turns as well as starting to share with adults and other children. Your child will listen to longer stories and answer questions about a story they have just heard, simple questions such as “Who did Cinderella dance with at the ball?”, “Where Cinderella’s sisters nice to her?”. Games like Simon says or musical statues will help develop their listening skills. Talk about the story you have just read and ask your child a couple of question. Can they understand simple “why?” questions?

By 5 years: Your five year old’s attention will be more flexible. They can focus on and listen to stories when they are sitting with their whole class. Your five year old can hold conversations, they know lots of words and can use longer sentences that are better formed. You can ask your child to re-tell stories in roughly the right order and they will start to use language that makes it sound like a story.

Suggested Reads

Full, Full, Full of Love by T Cooke

A charmingly-illustrated, warm, family story about toddler Jay Jay. Every Sunday, he is taken to Grannie’s for dinner, where they share delicious food and he is fussed over by his many relatives.

ISBN: 9781844287826


Don’t Let The Pigeon Stay Up Late by M Willems

Join in the fun with this hilarious read-aloud story featuring the pesky, pestering Pigeon! It’s getting late and the bus driver is going to and get ready for bed, but the pigeon isn’t at all tired…

ISBN: 9781406308129


The Tiger Who Came For Tea by J Kerr

The doorbell rings just as Sophie and her mummy are sitting down to tea. Who could it possibly be? A classic story that continues to capture children’s imaginations decades after it was written.

ISBN: 9780007215997


Orange, Pear, Apple, Bear by E Gravett

A funny book using a series of clever illustrations to show how changing the order of four key words can result in some very different scenes! A simple but effective exploration of language.

ISBN: 9781405090223


Spot’s Noisy Night by E Hill

A good book for children who are between picture and chapter books, the 12 sound effect buttons help to encourage new readers to follow and interact with this simple story.

ISBN: 9780723259480


Wolfman by M Rosen & C Mould

The tale of Wolfman running riot through the town has a twist that will delight toddlers. This book is part of the Picture Squirrels range, with dyslexia-friendly features to support parents who cannot read confidently to enjoy books with their children.

ISBN: 9781781123744