Wordless books may seem counter-intuitive to the avid readers amongst us, but in fact picture books without words are an important tool for building children's literacy and language skills, as well as being a lot of fun to read with your child or class.
Often used with struggling readers to help with comprehension, wordless picture books have a role to play for all emerging readers. They build skills like listening and vocabulary, as well as fostering creativity.
Research shows that when parents/ teachers read wordless pictures books they use richer vocabulary and adjust the language and story to suit their own child, which extends the child's language. When children are encouraged to tell the story themselves, using the illustrations as a guide, it stimulates their imagination and makes them think about the structure of a story.
They also make lovely bedtime stories where you can really engage with your child, making the story as long or as short as you want.
Our top tips for how to read wordless books with your child:
-Describe everything you see
-Take your time, let your child discover everything on the page
-Point out elements on the page
-Play to your child’s interest - expand on pictures that draw them in and talk about subjects or words they like
-Have fun with the story – use different endings each time, do silly voices
Give our favourite wordless picture books a try, to expand your imagination and have a lot of fun.