Book exploration (2 - 3 year olds)

Sharing a book with your child is crucial for their development as well as encouraging them to love books!


Home Learning

Children begin to understand that words in books hold meaning. As well as sequencing (beginning, middle and end) and learning that the pictures tell a story. Children should always have the opportunity to pick up and explore a book. Creating a place in the house where children can feel comfortable sitting and exploring books is a great idea to encourage a love of reading. For younger children, using books that have ‘touch and feel’ patches will encourage engagement, as their focus can be limited, using interactive stories will increase this. When you join a child for story time, it is a good time to explore and encourage language; constantly use language of what you can see as well as questions to help the children really explore the book.

Book exploration

Learning outcomes

  • Uses language as a powerful means of widening contacts, sharing feelings, experiences and thoughts.
  • Holds a conversation, jumping from topic to topic.
  • Learns new words very rapidly and is able to use them in communicating.
  • Uses gestures, sometimes with limited talk, e.g. reaches toward toy, saying “I have it”.
  • Uses a variety of questions (e.g. what, where, who).
  • Uses simple sentences (e.g.”Mummy gonna work”).
  • Beginning to use word endings (e.g. going, cats).
  • Identifies action words by pointing to the right picture, e.g., “Who’s jumping?”
  • Understands more complex sentences, e.g. “Put your toys away and then we’ll read a book.”
  • Understands “who”, “what”, “where” in simple questions (e.g. “Who’s that/can? What’s that? Where is __ ?”).
  • Listens with interest to the noises adults make when they read stories.
  • Has some favourite stories, rhymes, songs, poems or jingles.
  • Repeats words or phrases from familiar stories.
  • Fills in the missing word or phrase in a known rhyme, story or game, e.g. “Humpty Dumpty sat on a …”.

Key words

  • who
  • what
  • animal
  • character
  • see
  • show
  • page
  • turn

Discuss with your child

  • Who can you see?
  • What can you see?
  • What might happen next?
  • Can you count the stars?
  • What colour can you see?