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I haven't read to my dd and it's really worrying me
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puppyspaws · 21/09/2022 19:09

My dd is 16 months and I haven't really read to her yet. I've started a bit recently but I just struggled with everything in the first year so much that I didn't really find the chance to read to her. She's got a few books (not a huge amount but a few classic ones like Winnie the Pooh) but I'm worried that I haven't exposed her much to them and that it will effect her when she gets to school age and she won't like reading as she gets older. I do other activities with her and talk to her all the time but I worry it's not enough. Also, when I do read to her I'm literally just reading the book to her (in special voices), should I be teaching her things or literally just reading the book to her. Sorry if these seem like silly questions I'm just not really sure what I should be doing

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Greenbks · 21/09/2022 19:15

For context I have a 13 month old and I have been reading sensory books to her, ones where she can lift flaps (where’s spot) or ones she can feel or press buttons (this is not unicorn & the gruffalo) before she was born I bought a bunch of books that were simply too old for her and she got bored. With these books she is involved and it holds her attention. Perhaps try ones like these?

also just the act of getting a book out and reading from it will help your child get into the routine of it, understand that it’s bedtime (if it’s bedtime bed)

we usually do voices and I will explain and point at trees animals colours etc but if it’s a night where time is tight then it’s a quick book.

i don’t believe it’s too late and the voices is good! There is no right or wrong, I was never read to as a child and it did me no harm. I now go through 25/30 books a year!

hope this helps

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GiantTortoise · 21/09/2022 19:18

Don't worry OP, it's not too late - you can start now! Yes, just read the book and maybe point at the pictures etc. Winnie the Pooh is lovely, but maybe pop into the library or bookshop and find some of those cardboard books aimed specially at very young children. They have colourful pictures and simple language so may be more appealing to her at this age.

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UniversalTruth · 21/09/2022 19:19

Good for you starting now. The second best time is right now, as they say.

She'll catch up quickly at this age. You're aiming to show her the concepts of reading a book so reading to get with silly voices while you both look at the pictures is perfect. I like to ask them "where's the dog" when you get to a bit about a dog for instance so they join up the picture with the words.

Tips here halfway down "reading with your older child" www.booktrust.org.uk/books-and-reading/tips-and-advice/reading-tips/

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TwoWeeksislong · 21/09/2022 19:23

Do you have a library near you? Take her and read some new stories and see what she likes. Or look on Amazon for 2 or 3 new ones - you can filter by age eg 0-2, 3-5.
Most kids love being read to. Books with flaps and different textures can be fun at her age because she can interact with them physically in different ways.
Or ask us what books our toddlers love/loved!

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puppyspaws · 21/09/2022 19:23

@Greenbks thank you. I saw the spot ones at the library and thought they looked good, will give them a go

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TwitTw00 · 21/09/2022 19:24

I'm a teacher and read religiously with my 4 year old but not so much with my 18 month old until recently. I suspect second children are often read to less. Whilst it's good to be in the habit of looking at books, much of your child's language development will come from you talking to her. Starting to read books now will be fine.

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Notjusta · 21/09/2022 19:24

Agree with PP, you need some books that are suitable for her age. Lift the flap ones are good (Dear Zoo - a classic!), and simple repetitive books. This was a long time ago but my two like the "That's not my..." books as they are sensory.

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viques · 21/09/2022 19:25

Plenty of time to start! Can I suggest that the first thing you do is find your local library, join up and make visits there part of your routine. Choose books together to take home, join in with story times etc and borrow books for yourself. If your child sees that you value books then that will start to develop a love of reading. We are lucky in the UK, we have free libraries ( they are still hanging in there!) and we also have beautifully produced childrens books. Avoid the celebrity authored books, they are usually rubbish , if you are not sure ask the librarian, they are usually only to happy to advise on appropriate books.


The sort of books I remember my dd enjoying at that age are board books ( easy to turn pages for small hands) especially ones that contain pictures of things she was familiar with, household objects, animals, toys, vehicles, she liked naming them and they are also great for teaching colours and early counting.
Books that make noises when you press them.
Books with pages that lift up like dear zoo, where’s spot.
books with pictures of little children in, especially babies for some reason (She used to love mothercare catalogues) .
Nursery rhyme books especially those with actions to join in with, great for developing rhythm and rhyme as well as vocabulary

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AliasGrape · 21/09/2022 19:26

It’s not too late, but definitely start now. Ask for books for her birthday/ Christmas, get them from charity shops and join the library if you can - they also often do story times you could check out as she gets older.

Theres some good accounts on Instagram of speech therapists etc - peachy speech is one, I’ll try and remember some others. They often have book recommendations and give tips for how to read/ engage with books if you’re not too confident. Think bbc tiny happy people is quite good for this too.

From memory, the ‘that’s not my …’ books were really popular with my DD around that age, as well as the ‘where’s mr duck’ (dog, lion, rabbit etc - there’s a whole range of them) ones with felt flaps. Just reading it with different voices is great, or sometimes you can just talk about the pictures, try and encourage your daughter to turn the pages or point to the things she finds interesting, name what she sees etc. Also a good tip is to, at least sometimes, sit facing her with the book in between you so she can see your face, expression and how your mouth is moving etc. When there’s a book she gets really familiar with you can try stopping before the end of a sentence and seeing if she’ll fill in the blank.

Try and have books around that are accessible for her so she can choose to look independently or might bring one to you to get you to read it.

It honestly really is one of the best things you can do to help support her development.

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PunchyAnts · 21/09/2022 19:27

The first year is a total blur! I would give yourself a break. You were doing what you had to do to get by. You haven't screwed her up and she's not doomed to be illiterate so don't worry. Talking lots is really the most important thing and I suspect reading to newborns is much more for bonding than it is for literacy.

Make reading a part of your routine if you can. A story at bedtime is an obvious one but it could just as well be a story before breakfast or after bath or whatever. Silly voices definitely help. As she gets older she will want to choose the story, turn the pages herself, join in with her favourite parts and you can encourage all of that.

You can add in all sorts of little comments as you go, "Oooh look at the size of that dinosaur! Roaaar. I wonder what will happen next? I like his shiny red boots, they look good for stomping. Let's stomp our feet together. Can you remember what happens on the next page?" You might feel a bit silly but it all helps.

Going along to library story sessions can be good if you're lacking confidence, just to see someone else reading. Visiting the library in general is good to create positive associations with reading and expose her to a wider range of books.

Usborne books are our favourites - the ones with the duck to find on every page. Books with repetitive lines like Farmyard Tales are great. Happy reading!

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Rosehugger · 21/09/2022 19:27

You can get colourful cloth books which attach to a buggy, they can practise turning the pages themselves.

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puppyspaws · 21/09/2022 19:28

@viques we live in a small village (mostly full of retired people) so we only have a library van that comes once a week. I've been and registered myself and got dd a picture book last time. Will definitely ask the librarian for recommendations. Thank you

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HelloAvocado · 21/09/2022 19:30

Not too late to start! My children loved anything with flaps to lift and the Janet and Allan Ahlberg books like Each Peach Pear Plum and Peepo. You can read the text, talk about the pictures, DD can point things out as you go through- it's all good.

If you mean the classic Winnie the Pooh, that will be a bit old- you'd get more out of something age appropriate. Board books are great as they can look at them on their own or with you and they're sturdy enough to last.

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AliasGrape · 21/09/2022 19:31

Sent too soon - meant to say it really is one of the best things you can do but that doesn’t mean you should beat yourself up that you haven’t done it lots yet! Sounds like you model lots of language just talking to her and that’s great too.

Also things like signing nursery rhymes etc - that’s really valuable too so if you’ve been doing that then that’s brilliant, it’s not all about books.

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MrsArchchancellorRidcully · 21/09/2022 19:32

Julia Donaldson are lovely books with great pictures. I read like mad to both mine. Dd is avid reader. DS could not give 2 shiny shits about reading. Meh.

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Thejoyfulstar · 21/09/2022 19:32

I'm a teacher and I didn't start reading to my children until they were about 2. It seemed so futile and they weren't very responsive so I waited and tried again. No change. We read to them every night and they were never too enthused. I've got hundred of pounds worth of kids books in their room that they have no interest in. They are both doing really well at school, both have a good vocabulary and imagination and neither seem to have suffered. Both very expressive and verbally articulate. My daughter enjoys the phonetic decoding side of reading and my son loves fact books and finding out information. They just don't love being read to. However, we are are a very communicative, expressive and chatty family and I think that compensates.

Fwiw, I got an A* GCSE and A at A-level English Literature and you could not pay me to read fiction.

By the way OP, you sound like a lovely mum . Don't overthink it. I would just see it as special time together and anything else is a bonus.

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Augend23 · 21/09/2022 19:36

It's also worth asking the librarian about what other options there are, because if you have a library van they often do free reservations - where they bring books in from the rest of the library network stock for you to pick up.

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RedRobyn2021 · 21/09/2022 19:36

She's only 16 months, start now if you like?

Books are quite expensive so we make the most of the library. It's really lovely spending time looking at books together.

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puppyspaws · 21/09/2022 19:38

@RedRobyn2021 yes when I was pregnant I was surprised at how much books cost- the ones I did buy were from the charity shop

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viques · 21/09/2022 19:39

I think a library van that only comes once a week is fine, it’s a good thing to look forward to “and tomorrow after breakfast we can go and find some new books for you in the library van”. There will be lots of regulars there too so it will be a lovely time for your dd to socialise with all the other van users ( takes a village etc etc) and if you make friends with the librarian they will probably look out for books that they think are suitable and put them under the counter for your dd!

We were lucky enough to live over the road from our library and were Saturday morning regulars, I do remember the time my dd insisted on taking out the same book for about five weeks on the trot, ( I can probably recall every word of Lyle Lyle Crocodile if pushed). In the end I bought her her own copy and told her the library needed theirs for another little girl.

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puppyspaws · 21/09/2022 19:39

@Thejoyfulstar thank you that's so kind of you. I just don't want her to struggle

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Worriedwait · 21/09/2022 19:39

There is so much pressure to entertain, educate and otherwise enrich our babies' lives, it's bordering on bonkers.

OP, you do not need to worry. Reading books with your toddler is a lovely, bonding and no doubt beneficial thing to do but you don't need to give yourself a hard time that you haven't done so yet - she's a baby, give yourself a break.

(My second baby steadfastly refuses to be read to. Couldn't give a shit. He'll tear pages and chew board books all day long, but will he sit and listen to Each Peach Pear Plum? Will he heck)

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VioletInsolence · 21/09/2022 19:41

I say this kindly, but you’ll be cringing at this post in twenty years time🙂. She’s still a baby - it’s all fine!

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Choconut · 21/09/2022 19:44

I think reading to kids is soooo important, but your lo is only 16 months, give yourself a break! Doing funny/different voices sounds great, really exaggerate everything kids often love that. Just make it fun you don't need to teach anything, but you can talk about the pictures and point things out to her. Stick to short simple books with lots of colourful pictures and not too much writing.

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Rainbowshine · 21/09/2022 19:44

Just an idea - on CBeebies they have a bedtime story, you could watch some of those together and see what stories she likes more which could help with choosing library books. They sometimes have quite famous actors reading them.

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