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A book a day for growth and play

Discover how books; reading; rhymes and stories can be part of your everyday routine. Plus learn more about the Bookstart resources that can be the springboard to connect with parents and encourage sharing books on a daily basis.

Developing a daily reading habit

Many families are unsure about how to read and share books with young children, especially babies and younger toddlers. You can help by showing them that sharing books can be an important and fun tool to help their children’s development. 

Research has shown that regular daily reading with children has a much greater impact than reading less often; in fact reading to children 6-7 days per week has the same effect as being almost 12 months older. (University of Melbourne, 2012). 

Lots of parents also get caught up in ‘teaching’ their children to read.  First and foremost, children need to want to read so giving them a love of books; stories and reading from as early an age as possible is the best starting block to developing a lifelong love of reading and books.

Books everywhere

As professionals in the Early Years sector, parents will often look to you for ideas and ways to use books. 

Encourage parents and carers to use books in different environments to remind them to try to ‘read every day’.

 Books in baskets or boxes in different rooms in the house; books to clip to buggies and bath books  are all ways to encourage families to use books in fun ways without having to have a formal setting of  ‘sitting down and reading’. Books are great fun anywhere – even to browse through when waiting for lunch to be served!

Love your library

The local library is a great place to find a variety of books and most have events for children and families such as rhyme times and story times.  Again this can help model to less confident parents the different ways of sharing books and rhymes.

Before going on a trip to the park or to the seaside, why not go to the library and find books set in those places and share stories about them.  Older children can then come home and make their own book of pictures about their day, adding to the fun of the trip and extending the experience for the children.

Support materials

The Bookstart guidance materials in the packs give encouragement and ideas for parents and carers about reading and sharing books- in addition to lots of ideas for further activities to build on the positive experiences they are giving their children by reading to them. 

Bookstart Early Years offer includes:

  • Bookstart Baby – available universally 0-12 months
  • Bookstart Treasure – available universally 3-4 years or the preschool year
  • Bookstart Corner – a targeted programme run through Children’s Centres
  • Bookstart 2 Year Old Pack – targeted for children eligible for the free two year old funded places – limited numbers available
  • Booktouch – for blind/visually impaired children
  • Bookshine – for deaf/hearing impaired children
  • Bookstart Star – for children with multiple/complex needs, specifically fine motor skill development delay – limited numbers available
  • Dual Language books and guidance materials

Further information on our resources is available on the Bookstart website

Inspiring activities

The Bookstart website has a ‘Have Some Fun’ section where you can find interactive stories; games; colouring/drawing activities plus videos of families having fun with books and rhymes.

Activities can be used across devices, including most tablets and mobiles .

Doing the Animal Bop

Parents, carers and children can read, dance and sing along to this modern classic by Jan Ormerod and Lindsey Gardiner. Our interactive storybook features the following:

  • Read and sing: a kid-friendly ‘rap’ video of Doing the Animal Bop with catchy music, sound effects and karaoke-style highlighting lyrics
  • Dance and sing: a version of the video showing real-life toddlers bopping along with the illustrated animals
  • Chapters: both versions offer the chance to jump to your favourite animal
  • Signing: any of the videos can be played with a British Sign language layer.

For more information about any of Bookstart’s resources or more fun ways to share books, stories and rhymes visit our website  and

Bookstart is one of a number of programmes and prizes run by Booktrust, a national charity whose aim is to create a society of people who are motivated to read and who see themselves as readers whatever level that might be. Booktrust starts at the earliest possible age as we believe children who have an early introduction to books benefit in many ways; educationally, socially, culturally and emotionally.

Kay Devine has worked at Booktrust for nearly 11 years and is a Regional Manager.  Prior to this, Kay spent 11 years working in Kent Library Services, mainly in roles supporting children and families to develop a love of books and reading.

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