Cian (2 years and 3 months old) is absolutely obsessed with Bing. There was absolutely no doubt who he would choose to be on World Book Day.


  • Bing books by Ted Dewan


We’ve always loved reading together as a family, all enjoying the quiet closeness. Reading together promotes bonding and helps build strong relationships between you and your child, and amongst siblings.

Books are a great conversation starter, especially for reluctant talkers like Cian. In ‘Bing: Paint Day‘, Cici pointed out some of the pictures that Bing had painted, describing what he could see. At times it can still be hard to understand what he’s trying to say, the word “cloud” had me stumped for a while, but he always looks really proud when I work out which word he was trying to share with me.

Sharing stories with your child doesn’t mean you always have to read from the book yourself. Just by looking at books with your child and talking about them, you can be a great storyteller and a good model for how to read a book. Your child will learn by watching you hold a book the right way and seeing how you move through the book by gently turning the pages.

The next book Cian picked was ‘Bing: Smoothie‘ and I asked him to read it to me. He had his Bing and Flop teddies to keep him company. Books are a good way for toddlers to learn new vocabulary, Cian will often ask, “Mummy, what that?”

Cian can revisit the same book on loop, this was him re-reading his Smoothie book. He’ll regularly go off on a tangent while reading, this time it was about size, but I tend to go along with whatever is interesting him at that moment. I think we’re yet to read a book the same way twice!

Reading and sharing stories helps your child’s development in many ways. It can:

  • help your child get to know sounds, words and language, and develop early literacy skills
  • learn to value books and stories
  • spark your child’s imagination and stimulate curiosity
  • help develop your child’s brain, ability to focus, concentration, social skills and communication skills
  • help your child learn the difference between ‘real’ and ‘make-believe’
  • help your child understand new or frightening events, and the strong emotions that come with them
  • help your child learn about the world, their own culture and other cultures.

Reading isn’t the only way to help with a child’s language and literacy development. Inventing or retelling stories, singing songs and saying rhymes together are not only great for early literacy skills, you can have a lot of fun with them too.

DfES Outcomes for EYFS (2013)

Communication and language

Listening (16 to 26 months)

  • Listens to and enjoys rhythmic patterns in rhymes and stories.
  • Enjoys rhymes and demonstrates listening by trying to join in with actions or vocalisations.

Understanding (16 to 26 months)

• Selects familiar objects by name and will go and find objects when asked, or identify objects from a group.

Speaking (16 to 26 months)

  • Copies familiar expressions, e.g. ‘Oh dear’, ‘All gone’.

Physical development

Moving and handling (22 to 36 months)

  • Turns pages in a book, sometimes several at once.

Making relationships (16 to 26 months)

  • Plays alongside others.


Reading (16 to 26 months)

• Interested in books and rhymes and may have favourites.