Pre-Readers (4 Years – 5 years)
Preschoolers are pre-readers. Help your preschooler by continuing the techniques you began when she was younger. Talk, sing and read daily to your preschooler.
Encourage your preschool to read to you. She may not be able to read the words in the book but she will enjoy telling you a story based on what she sees on the pages.
Encourage your child to pretend to write, and ask her about the story she has written. Provide lots of paper for free drawing. Say to your preschooler, “Tell me about this picture,” and write down the words, sentences, or story she tells you.
At this age preschoolers are learning their ABCs.
- They will begin to recognize the letters of their name in other words they see.
- Children may not be able to recognize all their letters or tell you their sounds.
- They will begin to understand that all letters make a unique sound and that letters, put together, make words.
Play word games with your preschooler.
Explore rhyming words. Ask your child questions such as, “Does ball rhyme with tall?” “Does ball rhyme with bat?”
When reading or reciting rhymes to your preschooler have her try to fill in the last word of the rhyme. “One, two, buckle my ___________.”
- Play sorting games with words and household items. “What words/items start with (M) sounds, and which start with (C)?”
- Write lists of household items that start with a specific letter as your child says them to you. Show him the written words as he has spoken them.
- Explore compound words. Take them apart and put them back together. Make a game of saying the first half and letting your child supply the second half of the word (“You’re taking a bath in the bath____”)
- Make silly words by taking off and changing the first letter of a word. For example, tail, bail, cail, dail, fail, gail, hail, jail . . .
Playing with your child at this stage of development is just as important as it was when she was a baby.
Play games every day with your child.
Play board and card games with your preschooler. Read the instructions out loud, and practice following directions.
Provide plenty of time for unstructured, imaginative, and problem-solving play.
Sing with your child daily. Singing, rhyming and repetition help your preschooler learn her letter sounds.
Keep your activities light and fun. Learning happens through play. Use your preschooler’s interests to guide your reading choices, discussion topics and activities. If your child is enthusiastic about the subject she will be eager to explore.
And remember to make weekly trips to the library. Explore the children’s area. While you are there, read a book your child chooses off the shelf. Allow your child to choose books to take home that interest her. Share them together throughout the week.