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Read: anything, anywhere

Hungry Little Minds - read

Give your child the best start in life by reading and sharing stories with them from day one. Reading to children can help to develop their language and listening skills, their memory and imagination, and their focus. Even reading to your bump before baby arrives can help create a bond.

What should I read to my little one?

All children develop at different rates. The below is an indication of how your baby develops - some reach certain milestones faster than others. You can visit Hungry Little Minds to find out more.

  • From before birth - 4 months, little ones learn to love the sound of language before they even notice printed words on a page. Babies enjoy books with actions and lots of repetition from a very young age.
  • At 6-months-old babies start to understand simple words and activities and will engage with their surroundings. Use tactile books and chat to your baby about the different textures. Point out pictures for them too.
  • At 9 - 12 months babies can communicate by pointing at objects. Talk about the things your child points to and tell your child the name of things as they look at different objects. Let your baby turn the pages as you read together.
  • At around 18-months-old little ones know around 50 words and can say about 20. Help your child name pictures in books and ask them to find familiar objects on the page. Repeating this with the same book helps your child learn.
  • At 2-3 years children understand between 200-500 words and begin to ask questions. Use pictures in books as conversational prompts and ask them about anything familiar between the characters and their own lives.
  • At 3 - 4 years little ones can listen to stories with increasing attention and recall. They might join in with repeated phrases and can anticipate rhymes and events in stories. Ask your little one to think of words that rhyme with ones in the story.
  • At 5-years-old children can understand routines, patterns, and the different tenses. Ask questions with lots of possible answers like "How do you think the character will solve the problem?". Also talk about words that start with the same sound - e.g words beginning with 'p'.


We explore a new book every week via our Facebook Lives (11am Tuesday - Friday) with a chat, play and read session for each title. We also have storytime videos with popular children's authors - join Joseph Coelho read Luna Loves Art in the video below.

Explore an interactive leaflet featuring Spot to help your little one chat about different characters and pictures, read a David McKee book for free, and discover our top tips and tricks for storytime with your little one. We've also got access to lots of free books and extracts on Family Zone, and don't forget to search for Hungry Little Minds for even more ideas.

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