It is so important not to underestimate the power of books at any age or stage.
We have been fortunate in that Trudy sees Patrick reading his books, which has given her the motivation to play with reading. She copies him by getting books off the shelf and turning the pages. She points at the pictures and wants us to tell her what it is.
It hasn’t always been like this. Trudy was opening books but did not understand what the pictures meant. She now associates the pictures with concepts she knows about and wants the word for them, particularly books with real or clear representations of objects or people.
We mainly let Trudy play with reading but, as part of her routine, we read to her at bedtime or whenever she asks for it. She enjoys familiar stories with very repetitive phrases, like Goldilocks or ‘That’s not my…’. She particularly likes the sensory feedback from tactile books.
I have learned from our associated professionals that I shouldn’t read the story out loud to Trudy but respond to what she is interested in or pointing to, confirm the word and use associated words that she might know. For example, “mummy bear”, “daddy bear” and “baby bear”, “the porridge is hot”, “uh oh, the chair is broken”, “night night Goldilocks”. If she can see the sign, I make sure I sign the key words in the book.