Children at this age are learning to read through sight word recognition, and phonics (the sounds of words). They focus on one thing at a time, and need help “tracking” or reading words in order (left to right in the U.S.). Some activities that can supporting reading development include:
- Have your child read a book to you. This can be a favorite book that they are familiar with the story or a book with short sentences and a pattern. Two good options from Discovery Toys are Ahoy, Pirate Pete or Once Upon a Time
- . These books are short, predictable text, and the child is able to change the story each time. Another good book is Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by by Bill Martin Jr. (Author), John Archambault (Author), Lois Ehlert (Illustrator)
- Practice “tracking” while reading. Tracking is teaching the eyes to move in the direction we read text. In the the English language we track from the left side of the page to the right side of the page. A good way to teach this is by reading simple stories together, and point to each word as you read it.
- Have your child write a book. This is a great way to have your child explore the concept of reading and creating. They can do it about anything, the content is less important than the practice. You can simply take some paper and staple together.
- Reading and making signs and posters. Practice “reading” signs when you go shopping, drive to the store, etc. Often the first words a child learns how to read are the sign to their favorite store. You can start labeling things, and have your child label them. Giving your child some paper, scissors, markers and tape, and you will find that your entire house will be labeled in no time.
- Practice patterning. Words are patterns of sound and visuals. Children who can see patterns in the world, can see patterns in words. You can pattern with many things, rocks and sticks, toy animals, bingo dotters. Start with simple patterns – rock/stick/rock/stick and have the child replicate it. Increase the complexity of the patterns, and then challenge your child to complete the pattern as they become more successful.
Recommendations of products that will support your child in learning to read: