Reading is an essential part in your child's development. By spending time together looking at, reading and talking about books, you will help create a lifelong love of reading.

1. Read to your child

Read to them – a lot – from when they are young babies. It is a special bonding time, can become part of the bedtime routine, and also instills a love of books from a very young age. It doesn't matter if you read the same books over and over, or read something new every day, but try and spend at least 20 minutes a day reading together.

2. Talk about the story as you read

Point to the pictures, and ask toddlers and children what the picture shows and where the story might be heading. Encouraging interaction with the book also helps develop vocabulary and understanding of the meaning of the story.

3. Read yourself.

Kids model everything you do, so make sure they see you reading books, not just watching tv or texting. Talk to them about the book you are reading, what it's about, whether you are enjoying it and why.

4. Encourage an interest in letters.

Have alphabet posters around the house so they see them every day. Take some time to explain the noise each letter makes. Sing an alphabet song together so they learn the letters.

5. Make books accessible.

Have plenty of books around the house that children can easily reach. Encourage older siblings to read with and in front of younger children.

You'll never regret developing a love of books in your kids.

6. Join your local library

Make it a part of your weekly routine to visit your local library. Show children this is a useful resource and place that is fun to go to.

7. Focus on the sounds

Help children sound out parts of the word rather than the whole word so they can learn how the word is made up. Talk about words that rhyme or sound alike.

8. Help them read to you

As children learn to read and get more confident, encourage them to read to you. Don't be too quick to correct pronunciation – wait for them to try first or to ask for help.

9. Chat to their teachers

Talk to your child's teacher about the methods they use for learning to reading in class so you can replicate them at home.

10. Enjoy it!

Sharing a love of reading is a wonderful gift you can give to your child.

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'That's Not My Fairy' and 'Pug The Pig' are great picture books for little book lovers

  1. The Very Hungry Caterpillar – Written by Eric Carle

  2. That's Not My Fairy – by Usborne Children's Books

  3. Where Is The Green Sheep – Written by Mem Fox

  4. The Cat In The Hat – Written by Dr Suess

  5. Scarlet Scarlet – Written by Emma Quay

  6. The Tale of Peter Rabbit – Written by Beatrix Potter

  7. Ten Little Fingers & Ten Little Toes – Written by Mem Fox

  8. Pug the Pig – Written by Aaron Blabey

  9. Where's Spot? – Written by Eric Hall

  10. The Gruffalo – Written by Julia Donaldson