Why singing to children is about more than just peaceful sleep

The Joy of Reading at Guardian

Find your Centre to Enrol

Or use your current location

We’ve got some good news for you. There are loads of great ways that you can help encourage a child’s love of reading. Both you and your child will find these activities to be fun and a great bonding opportunity. 

For instance, one of the most common questions we get is, when is the right time to start reading with my child? If they’re too young, is it just a waste of time? It seems like they’re not even paying attention…

Let’s dive in here and bust a few myths.

It’s definitely not a waste of time to read to a child of any age. By the age of one, children have learnt all the sounds that make up their native language.


Learning about reading and literacy starts at birth.

To learn how first to talk and then to read, babies and toddlers need to see communication in action. The early foundations of literacy are set by a child’s exposure to talking, songs being sung, and the rhythms and repetitions of rhymes and stories.

This means using every opportunity to laugh, sing and talk with children – from nappy changes to mealtimes is a chance for learning through play. The more we have real conversations about real things in their presence, the more children will understand language.

It’s also why singing songs with your children is about so much more than just helping them drift off to a peaceful sleep.

Songs support very young children in making connections with words they know, and singing a nursery rhyme with a matching picture book allows them to connect with pictures they can see.

Songs help to bring words to life.

What you can do at home

Build a collection of songs and nursery rhymes that you sing with your baby/toddler and find the book versions. Collect the same songs and nursery rhyme books in other languages and share those.

Together, you can enjoy the sounds of the words and the music and if there aren’t already actions for your song, have fun creating actions to go with them.

Other great activities you can enjoy at home with your child are:

  • Reading aloud
  • Having conversations
  • Exposing children to a wide range of printed materials – try a fun magazine or a catalogue
  • Visits to the local library.

How does Guardian help a child’s literacy development?

Whether your child is six weeks or six years old, our Teachers and Educators are always observing – working to understand your child’s individual traits, likes and motivations. This means they’re better able to find what lights up each child’s curiosity and enthusiasm for learning.

Our Joy of Reading Program is developed for children of all ages. We include intentionally selected books that connect with children at each age stage to support their development of reading (e.g., themes of imagination, security, being different, being the same).

Team members are committed to reading books “out loud” every day and emphasise the rhythm, rhyme, and expression. Reading aloud encourages children to see themselves as readers. It teaches them that reading and being a reader are valued and important. This is what we mean when we talk about the Joy of Reading.

Want more information? We recommend reaching out to your Centre and talking to your friendly Centre manager for more information about what books they’re reading, which stories and songs your child is most responsive to during the day or why not just have a chat about how beautiful children’s books are.

Not enrolled at a Guardian Centre? Reach out and book a tour today.

Looking for the right Childcare Centre for your Family?

Submit your details and a member of our Concierge Team will be in touch to discuss what you need and how we can help you experience something more than childcare.

We'll be in touch soon.