Introducing books and rich language experiences from an early age has many learning and development benefits for pēpi. Here are some Tākai resources you can use with whānau to explore reading with their child.

When parents read with their child, it's a great chance to share attention, fun and cuddles, and reinforce a warm, loving bond. All of these benefits help make strong brain connections for language, and will help babies learn to love books and learning for life.

In 'Ngā tohu whānau' on page 14 of Te Pihinga 3, the ‘Love and warmth’ section reminds us to ‘spend time with pēpi, playing, talking, reading, singing and having fun together.'

Here are some other pages in Te Pihinga 3 to explore with whānau:

  • Page 7 – ‘Pēpi says: I’m starting to understand and respond to more . I’m even saying some too.'
  • Page 9 – ‘Whānau say: We know that positive experiences will become happy memories for pēpi, and the experiences pēpi has are building new connections in their brain.'
  • Page 12 – ‘Ngā : Let pēpi take the lead when you read pukapuka together.'
  • Page 22 – 'Pēpi says: I have my favourite pukapuka and recognise the pictures.'
  • Page 24 – ‘Whānau say: We know that playing and lots of love are exactly what baby’s brain and wairua need.'
  • Page 24 – ‘Whānau say: Pēpi understands a lot and is starting to use more kupu to tell us what they want, need and are interested in. We’re giving pēpi a world rich in language every day by describing, responding, confirming, adding and modelling – to bathe them in te reo.'
  • Page 34–35 – ‘ : Te Ika-a-Māui.' Try telling or reading this story to pēpi.

Other Tākai resources

On page 6 of the booklet Thinking about Parenting we are reminded about staying positive, 'Try and say five positive things for every negative one!’

On page 4 of the booklet The World of Under-fives is ‘Ten basics for a fair and firm approach’. Number 2 suggests, ‘Try to do something they like with them every day.’

Conversation ideas

How do these ideas match your child’s behaviour at the moment?
What changes have you noticed?
Why do you think that’s happening?
How has this affected you and your whānau?
Have you noticed your child becoming more interested in books?
How do they respond when you read together?
Are there any ways you might get more books for you and your child to enjoy?
What times with your child have been exciting, fun or made you celebrate?
Have you had challenges with your child?
What would you like to talk about?
What more would you like to find out about?

Helpful resources for whānau