Search icon

Expert advice

28th Feb 2024

Tips to get your child reading this World Book Day

Anna Martin

world book day

World Book Day takes place on Thursday 7th March and it’s the perfect time to get your little one reading

Yet we all know just how difficult it can be to get your child to sit down with a book let alone have it be fun.

Thankfully, Ciara McGlade, Enable Ireland Speech and Language Therapist is sharing her expertise on how reading to children can improve their language skills.

Her tips can help children of all abilities. As well as being an experienced SLT, Ciara is also a mother of three children so she understands the realities of encouraging reading.

So without any further ado, here’s how you can get your kid reading this World Book Day.

Make sure they enjoy it

world book day
Credit: Getty

“It might mean you’re ignoring all the text and just talking with the pictures as that’s what gets their attention. For younger children, the main thing with a book is that it’s an interactive experience and the text is almost secondary.”

Use books to unlock new vocabulary

“Books are a great way to introduce kids to new vocabulary. Kids need to hear vocab repeatedly for them to acquire it and learn it. Books offer the perfect opportunity to repeat the words.”

Find books that are real to children’s lives

“Some of my children’s favourite books were the Alfie and Annie Rose books. These stories are very real to children’s lives. There’s one story about wearing wellie boots on the wrong feet and taking a while to figure it out. That’s something most kids can relate to. This can help children learn vocabulary as it relates to their personal lives.”

Use books to practise thinking skills

world book day
Credit: Getty

“As stories become more complex, you can practise thinking skills by asking questions like ‘What might we do?’ or ‘What do you think is going to happen next?’. This can help encourage your child’s imagination, pretending and prediction abilities.”

Don’t drop the bedtime story too soon

“The challenge with older kids as they start to read more independently is not to let the bedtime story routine go altogether. For lots of kids they can be so concentrated on the task of reading that they don’t get to process the content. Do a mix of shared reading so that your children can also practise listening and process more of the content.”

Stay interested when your child starts reading independently

“Often topics in books can open up conversations that are important for children to have with you and might be difficult to have in other ways. When I read Harry Potter with my kids, it brought up conversations about death and people with different amounts of money. Books can be a lovely way to broach more difficult life topics as kids get older.”