Your child will amaze you how quickly they learn at this stage. They are starting to use exciting language and have learnt a lot about how to listen. They will ask for help if they need it. The more you praise your child for trying to read the more they will enjoy it. It is OK to make mistakes and it’s supposed to be fun!

By 5 years: They speak in proper sentences, tell you stories and make choices about what books they want to read. Your 5 year old will be developing a good knowledge and understanding of sounds and words, which are important for reading and spelling. Telling stories to each other is one of the ways we communicate and share our experiences, your child will be learning how to tell stories that make sense. They should be able to re-tell favourite stories, some parts as they are and some in their own words.

By 7 years: Your 7 year old can listen to you when you ask them a question or give them an instruction and work out which the important bits are. They know when they don’t understand something to ask for you to explain. Try choosing a story you both know well like Little Red Riding Hood and talk about the wolf. Is he good or bad? Ask your child to say why they think he is good or bad. What is in the story that tells them? You can play word games with your 7 year old try: Opposites, say a word and think of the opposite e.g. hot/cold. The yes/no game, challenge your child to talk to you without using yes or no. Describing word charades, your child thinks of an action e.g. swimming, adds a describing word e.g. slowly and acts it out to you to guess.

Your 7 year old will love telling stories about things they are doing. They can give you more detail about what happened. Your child’s stories will be improving as they will be able to tell you a basic plot, use words that make it interesting and get it in the right order most of the time. They will be able to say what they think is going to happen next in the story. Try telling a story together, you each take it in turns to say a sentence and keep the story going. Your 7 year old will now be using language they hear from other people. They are beginning to see the need to use different language styles with different people for example to a teacher, “It’s really good” but to a friend “It’s wicked.”

Suggested reads

But Where Completely Are We? By L Child

This book is part of an award-winning series that follows Charlie & Lola as they set off on another adventure, this time capturing the excitement of exploring – and luckily Lola has brought lots & lots of her favourite glitter pink milk!

ISBN: 9780141331515


The Boy, The Bear, The Baron, The Bard by G Rogers

A wordless tale of adventure and friendship set in the time of Shakespeare. No text means children can use their imagination to tell the story from the pictures alone.

ISBN: 9781741145359


Aliens Love Underpants by C Freedman

Aliens and underpants make this a popular children’s choice, and the fun, rhyming text makes this a good book for joining in or sharing. Can be enjoyed equally by pre-school and older children.

ISBN: 9781416917052


Dirty Beasts by R Dahl

“No animal is half so vile/As Crocky-Wock the crocodile” Roald Dahl is at his very best in this selection of hilarious poems about animals. A great companion piece to Revolting Rhymes.

ISBN: 9780141501741

Ketchup On Your Cornflakes? By N Sharratt

A simple but effective split-page book. Newer readers will enjoy concocting hundreds of fantastical food creations (cornflakes and ketchup anyone?) by turning sections of each page.

ISBN: 9780439950640


The Tales of Desperaux by M Smith

A graphic novel adaptation of the 2009 film version of Kate di Camillo’s wonderful tale of the adventures of a brave and curious mouse.

ISBN: 9780763640750