Parenting | Reading with your child

readingWith the chilly weather we find ourselves indoors more often and may have more time to spend reading with our children. Reading together is a great bonding exercise and important to make part of your daily life if possible.

As part of our ’10 Ways to …’ series which offers tips for parents on a variety of topics, here are our ‘10 Ways to Make Reading a Part of Family Life‘.


  1. Join the library. The whole family could take a trip to the local library and sign up. It’s free! Find out what’s happening in your local library as they run great events too and you can then plan your family trips to correspond with events.
  2. Read together. Plan a time each day, or at least three times a week, to read together. Let the children read to their parent or parents to child. When a child becomes familiar with a story they can tell it from the pictures or from their memory – encourage this!
  3. Start a library in your home. Go the second hand shops and get great books for very little cost.
  4. Switch off the TV. For one evening every week, switch on the story telling in the family instead of the telly.
  5. Start early. Introduce children to books from six months onwards; bath books, music books and picture books.
  6. Role model. Let children see you read books and use books to find out about things. Yes, there’s Google but let children know there are other ways too.
  7. Bring books. Wherever you go – when in the car, in a queue, on a bus trip going to Granny’s – bring a book with you. You can pass the time reading to your child or encourage them to read themselves if you are driving or talking with someone.
  8. Visit book shops. They can be great fun. Let children see all the books they can choose from. Talk to them about authors and check out when writers are signing in shops.
  9. Create your own book. Encourage older children (6+) to write their own stories and to create pictures about simple things they like in life. You could get them bound and keep them forever.
  10. The Benefits. Reading together creates quality time which results in improved relationships. It teaches children about the world and the people in it. It helps develop imagination, increases your child’s language and vocabulary which improves chances at school, and concentration levels grow as stories gets longer with age. At bed time, reading helps us relax and can enable children to fall asleep more quickly.


The ’10 Ways to …’ series is compiled by One Family’s Director of Children and Parenting Services, Geraldine Kelly.

You can find out about parenting programmes we run here.

For support and advice on any of these topics, call askonefamily on lo-call 1890 66 22 12 or email