Preschool Reading Activities to Teach your Child to Read

If your child is ready to start preschool reading activities you can incorporate many fun learning activities and games into your daily routine. Your preschooler or toddler can work on early reading skills throughout the day, there are so many fun games and activities that teach early reading skills.

Preschool reading activities such as rhyming, reading aloud, word games, and making up stories teach the foundation for learning to read. Getting a good foundation of early reading skills can help your child to pick up reading and reading comprehension more quickly later on.

Rhyming Games
When you rhyme with your preschooler, he can hear the sounds of the words and he begins to understand that sounds can occur in different places in words. Even if your toddler or preschooler doesn't recognize the letters of the alphabet, by simply hearing sounds and identifying similar sounds, she is developing pre-reading skills. Here are some preschool reading activities that practice rhyming:

Rhyme Box
Cut out pictures or gather objects of words that rhyme (cat/hat, dog/frog, star/jar, house/mouse). Have your preschooler place the rhyming words in the same compartment of the "rhyme box" (I use a chip and dip tray.)

Nursery Rhyme Game
Nursery Rhymes are an easy rhyming activity for toddlers and preschoolers. To extend their learning, play a game by replacing the rhyming word with a new one...
Hickory, dickory dock. The mouse ran up the sock/ block/ rock.

Pick a Word and Rhyme Game
This easy game is a great one for the car. Take turns picking a word (we use objects that we see) and go back and forth with rhymes...

Don't worry if your child makes up words. The important lesson is the sound of the word.

Reading Comprehension
Preschool reading activities that teach reading comprehension skills are an important part of early reading. In order to succeed in school, your child must not only be able to read words, but also be able to comprehend and apply those words.

Discussing Books
One of the easiest ways to help your preschooler develop early reading comprehension skills is to simply discuss the books that you read with him. Here are some ideas:

  • Before reading a page, ask your child to look at the picture and predict what is going to happen
  • When an event happens in a book, ask your preschooler how the character might feel or how she would feel in a similar situation
  • When you are done reading, ask your child to tell you about his favorite part
  • Discuss what happened first? second? last? in a book
  • Be open to reading the same book over and over (and sometimes over) again. Your child learns and understands more through repetition.

Make up Stories
My kids LOVE to make up stories. However, when we started, they weren't naturals. Here are some tips for making up stories with your preschooler:

  • Start by telling an entire story yourself
  • Make the stories follow the same basic flow each time. We start..."Once upon a time there was a..." and always end..."The End".
  • Once your child is comfortable, alternate telling the story. My 3 year old loves this. For example, I start "Once upon a time there was a beautiful princess who wanted to go for a walk." She continues, "She walked to a beautiful field and found a pink flower." Then we continue back and forth.
  • Realize that the stories don't need to be elaborate or extremely creative. Simple is actually better. The point is that your preschooler is learning to think about characters, actions, and events in stories.
  • Tell stories about your child using his current favorite. For a long time, my son went to "dinosaur land" each night and had a different adventure.
  • If your preschooler wants, have him tell an entire story on his own. Don't worry about correcting or making suggestions- his stories will give you insight into how he thinks, what he thinks, and may even give you a laugh or two...

More Preschool Reading Activities

Alliteration Game
Alliterations are when words have the same beginning sound (The cat cooked cake in the car.)

Go back and forth with your child naming words with the same beginning sound. You can state the letter that starts the words, but the important lesson is the actual sound of the letter.

Once your preschooler begins to show interest in reading, help him connect words to objects by placing index cards with labels around the house.

In order to best teach early reading skills, preschool reading activities should be combined with writing and alphabet lessons.

Preschool Writing Activities
Preschool Alphabet Activities

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