How to Teach Reading to Preschoolers


While it is highly unlikely that any preschool age child under the age of 4 would actually be able to read books, it is possible to teach them the fundamentals of reading. In fact, by teaching your preschooler the alphabet, basic phonics, and some very easy sight words, you will be giving them a strong advantage for when they start regular grade school. If you intend to home school your child, then these early reading skills will enhance the entire learning process for your child.

A child between the ages of 0 and 4 years old.

Children’s books. (Fairytales and storybooks)

A picture dictionary

Alphabet flash cards

Sight word flash cards

Phonic flash cards

Every ounce of patience you possess

As soon as you discover that you are pregnant, start reading to your baby. Studies have proven that reading to a child in the womb stimulates brain development and encourages learning. Continue reading with your child through the formative years, even after he or she is able to read alone. Reading together is one of the closest bonds parents and children can enjoy.

When your child is 1 year old or perhaps even earlier, depending on the child; start pointing out words to her, such as on signs or toys, or in books. Sound out the letters of the words in the picture dictionary with them. This helps them learn to speak, and will help them learn to read later on as well.

At 2 years of age your child is probably ready for you to teach the alphabet song to him. Use the alphabet flash cards as you sing the song, so she can learn to recognize the letters by sight and by sound. Some children are ready before 2; you will know your child’s capabilities.

By making the above steps a regular part of your interaction with your child, by the age of 3 your child will find learning a fun activity and learning the sounds that different letters will practically become ingrained knowledge. You can reinforce this skill with the phonics flash cards and sight word flash cards.

When your little reader is 4, you can play learning games with all of the flash cards. Such as using the sight word cards to have your child form sentences. By this age, your child will more than likely have come up with other ways for you “play” with the cards.

A great way for your child to learn the letters and the other skills is to have them learn to trace and then write the letters, and later the words from the flash cards or stencils. You could also purchase coloring books that include these types of pages, or learning activity books.

Every child is unique, and learns at different stages. Don’t worry or get discouraged if your child takes longer to learn reading skills. Also, use these guidelines to discover your own teaching ideas and learning activities for your child.


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