New research says that bedtime stories like the classic Narnia or Lord of the Rings for young children significantly improve their vocabulary and spelling abilities.
Jean Gross - the government's adviser on youth speech, language and communication problems - said that children can be taught to be good spellers from a young age by being read bedtime stories.
Becoming a good speller "starts a lot sooner than we all might imagine," The Courier Mail quoted her as saying.
"Very early on, when little children are hearing speech, they are beginning to hear separate sounds within a word. That grows between the ages of zero and five, in the preschool years. It is on that ability that later written spelling is built. "
Gross also said that parents should read to their children for as long as possible, as long as they can distract them from their PlayStations and the television.
According to a survey by Reader's Digest, more than a third of the 2000 parents questioned also said that they did not do enough to encourage their children to read and write.