Why story repetition is so important

December 23, 2016
Emelie, 3 with Dad

Emelie, 3 with Dad

Do you have a favourite book that has been loved so much it’s falling apart? The corners are scuffed, the pages are torn and you and your child know exactly what’s coming with each page turn? Some family favourites can even last for decades as they get passed down through the generations.

There’s a good reason for this. Babies and young children learn and thrive from repetition and they seek it out.

Next time you share a well-loved book, watch what happens. Depending on the age of your child, they may make sounds in response to the story or fill in the words. They may let you know what’s about to happen next or start little conversations about the pictures and the story. This is a great sign and with each reading, your child is learning more and more.

Whether it’s the third or the thirtieth reading, each one will help your child understand, talk about, and be part of the story. Your child may notice new things or figure out an unfamiliar word by hearing it in the context of the story.

The other great thing about sharing the same book over and over, is the repeated exposure to unfamiliar things.

Queensland kids don’t often play in wintry wonderlands but books can transport the family to different worlds, taking us on icy adventures where we can discover things that are outside our physical worlds – like igloos, polar bears and penguins. Books can expose city kids to life on the farm and country kids to the mind boggling bustle of the city. Opening your well-loved book and going there again and again will help your child make sense of an unfamiliar world and will help builds language and knowledge about things outside their everyday life.