G’day to the hens and roosters of the house! Have you ever thought about the role you play during reading time? You can make all the difference in the world to your little ones reading journey following a few of my tips and tricks. Have a squiz below…

1. Say g’day to special guests.

Do your kids have a favourite toy, doll or stuffed galah, mate? They might even have a Farmer George or Ruby Farmer doll to cuddle close! An inclusive reading time will make it all seem much more special to the littlies and it encourages them to stay interested for that little bit longer.

2. Turn off your devices.

Give the kiddies ten minutes of your time and attention, and turn off the electronic devices, mate! There is plenty of time for bright lights, tv, ipads and other devices during the day. Let reading time be reading time – it will make those moments beaut’.

3. You can never be too dramatic, mate!

Adding some drama will help to embed the storylines in the kiddie’s heads. Think accents, animal noises and sound effects. Slow motion storylines are also a winner – can you talk at the rate of a very…….. very………… very………………….. slow……………………….. snail?

They say actions speak louder than words, so throw a few of those ace actions into play and make sure the littlies can see that the croc is snapping, the snakes are slithering and the chooks are flapping!

4. Familiarity is fair dinkum.

Familiarity is comforting for our littlies and so you can see why they ask to read the same book over and over!

It might feel repetitive but it will often mean that your kids are developing friendships with the main characters, are eager to turn to their favourite pages, and are keen as beans to echo noises or recite memorable phrases with you.

5. Make it a guessing game!

While familiar books are exciting for their own reasons, new books can be just as fun, mate! Check out the title and illustrations for clues to help predict what you think might happen. Pause a few times during the story to challenge the kiddies to question what will happen when you turn the page…

6. Distractions are okay. 

If it’s easy for your littlies to lose interest before finishing the story then that’s okay! Don’t feel pressured by the looming last page, mate. Half a book, or even a quarter is a great achievement. And there’s always next time to see if you can turn over a few more pages.

7. Keep your story-time setting interesting!

While the bedroom or the reading chair are ripper places for story-time, why not keep things interesting and mix it up every so often? Imagine the reaction from the littlies if you take story time out to the hay shed or the garden? Or better yet - they’ll be jumping around like frogs in socks with excitement if there is a loungeroom fort involved!

8. Hold onto your role as storyteller at bedtime.

The day your little one starts chiming in with words, sentences or reading aloud sure will be worth celebrating, mate - but it doesn’t mean they have to take the reins with every story. Let bedtime rituals stay as they are, and avoid replacing a special and routine moment with what might feel like work for the littlies.

9. Reflection time is ripper!

Before you get started on the next book, make sure to have a yarn about the story that you just read. Help develop your child’s communicative skills and understanding of the storyline by asking questions of each other and thinking about why the author did this and that!

10. Make real life connections.

As the days go by you might stumble across real life moments or prompts that connect back to your story. Why not chat with the kiddies about them? This can encourage them to recall the storyline and might spark their interest in having a yarn about it.

Like this post, download the tips as a PDF along with plenty of my other free resources.