Ages 2 to 3
Letter Knowledge: The most important letter to a child is the first letter of his or her name! Look for that letter and point it out anywhere you might find it—in books, on signs, or on cookies!
ABC books are a great way to share letters with your child. But some alphabet books are pretty complicated. For toddlers, look for ABC books with big, clear letters and simple pictures.
Print Awareness: Point out the words on a cereal box and signs on the street to your child, so they become aware that print is all around us!
Be silly! Sometimes when you read with your child, hold the book upside down or backward and see if your child notices. If not, talk about the proper way to hold a book and turn the pages.
Vocabulary: Ask your child lots of questions that don’t have a “yes” or a “no” answer. These are called “open-ended” questions and they give toddlers a chance to use all the words they hear for themselves.
As you’re reading to your child talk about words that may be unfamiliar by giving a simple definition. A big vocabulary is a big help when it comes time to learn to read!
We are important role models to our children. They want to do the things they see us doing! So let them see you reading—tell them when you’re reading recipes, or grocery lists, or magazines, or emails.
Narrative Skills: When you’re playing with your child, describe their toys for them. “This ball is round, blue, and bouncy.” Or “This teddy bear is brown and soft.” Being able to describe things helps build comprehension skills.
Phonological Awareness: We know that kids who know some nursery rhymes by heart have an easier time learning to read. This is because rhyming is one way kids learn to hear the smaller parts of words. Check out a Mother Goose collection and read one or two rhymes every day!
Play a rhyming game of “I Spy” with your child. “I spy something that rhymes with sock!” Playing games with rhymes helps children get ready to read.