We’re launching a marketing campaign as part of our commitment to providing a range of programs and resources which help Gold Coast children aged 0–5 years and their parents or carers to develop essential early literacy and language skills.
The message aims to reinforce the value and benefits men bring to children’s language development, when they read with kids, because ‘when men read, it’s a different story!’
We are on a mission to get more dads, grandads, uncles, brothers and family friends spending time reading with kids. Research shows that for a child aged 24 months, 59% of mums read to their kids daily, while only 26% of dads do. Yet research also shows that kids who were read to by their dad at age two, would have better language skills by aged four – and the benefits increase further as they get older!
That’s generally because of the different way that men read to kids. Dads bring their own style to book reading and that’s what makes their reading so impactful. The silly chats about the characters (non-immediate talk), linking to past or present real-life examples (sequencing skills), plus those crazy voices (engagement strategies), not only thrill kids, it also helps improve their cognitive language skill outcomes.
So go on guys, grab a kids book and start reading today!
It's never too early to start reading to your baby
Make your child's first card a library card! Children can become Gold Coast Libraries members from the day they're born, and we encourage you to join them online at the earliest opportunity. Our library resources offer plenty of ways you can build a strong foundation for your child's future development online and at home. Visit your library or our eLibrary for kids to explore our great resources.
Find a time of day when your baby is alert and interested in what's happening around them. Try to look at both them and the book, to see what they're looking at and showing an interest in. Point to the pictures and talk about the things your baby is looking at. Try to use your voice in different ways to make the story time as interesting as possible – loud and soft, happy and sad. If you find books your baby loves, read them over and over.
When and how to read
Try to create a time for reading with your child every day. Storytime can be any time of the day for you at home and it's a wonderful way to create quality one-on-one time for you and your child. It isn't just about reading books word-for-word or page-for-page; it can be a conversation between you and your child about what you both see in the book.
Want reliable advice on a wide range of topics from leading parenting and educational experts? Check out ParentTV, a virtual library of parenting videos and resources from First 5 Forever. Find videos on anything from getting your kids to eat their veggies to promoting their determination and confidence.
First 5 Forever
First 5 Forever is an initiative of the Queensland Government, coordinated by State Library of Queensland and delivered in partnership with local government. It's a program providing strong early literacy foundations for all Queensland children aged 0–5 years. Explore articles, tips and activities to make the most of your child's first five years.