Skip to content

We use necessary cookies that allow our site to work. We also set optional cookies that help us improve our website.

For more information about the types of cookies we use, and to manage your preferences, visit our Cookies policy here.

Cookie settings

Their story starts with you

Discover simple, everyday things to do that will help your child begin their reading journey.
Their story starts with you_the National Literacy Trust

Literacy changes everything, right from the very start

A child’s early grasp on language and first steps to build communication skills will set them up for life.

As a parent with a baby or toddler, there are simple, everyday things you can do to help nurture your child's earliest steps to speaking, writing, listening and reading.

The little things can make a big difference.

Your child’s story starts with you.

Reading together

Reading picture books together helps your little one learn new words and grow their communication skills for life. Looking at the pictures together and talking about what you think might be happening, picking out features and colours or asking simple questions about what your child might see in the illustrations will help your child become interested in reading and develop vital communication skills.

Dad reads picture book with baby_ free Unsplash downloaded photo

Unable to display this content.

To view content from third party services you need to allow 3rd party cookies.

Manage cookie settings

Tips to help you and your child share a story together

Here are some simple, everyday activities you can try at home to help you read with your child as well as useful tips on how to share a book together...

  • You don’t always need to read the words in books. Looking at and talking about picture books is a great way to encourage your child to enjoy stories.
    Find out more
  • Discover tips on how to make a cosy reading experience at home and why this can be helpful for you and your little one.
    Learn more
  • Children can enjoy books at any age. Find out how experimenting with sounds can add an extra layer to your story time experience together.
    Have a go
  • If we have language skills, we are better equipped to express our emotions and let people know how we're feeling. Discover how books can help children on this journey.
    Learn more
  • To help create a love for books, you could try to build story time into your little one’s routine. Books can be useful just before bedtime.
    Read on
  • Does your child have a favourite book? Find out why it isn't such a bad thing to read the same book time and again!
    Find out more

Unable to display this content.

To view content from third party services you need to allow 3rd party cookies.

Manage cookie settings

Every story starts somewhere. #EarlyWordsMatter

Father and toddler son read a picture book together. Early Words Matter

Part of Early Words Matter led by the National Literacy Trust in partnership with WHSmith.