5 Activities That Will Help Your Child Learn to Read Early


3. Dinnertime Story Time

Make every meal into a reading lesson! Hold up an item or ingredient before you add it to the recipe and have your child spell the name of it. Let her decide on dinner once a night, but only if she can read a certain number of words from the recipe.

4. Song and Dance

You read your child’s favorite stories over and over to the point you memorize the words and sometimes you can’t even get them out of your head. Create a song and dance for the more difficult words in the story and spell them out in rhythm! You’ll both have an excellent time spinning around the living room or out on the grass and, when she starts singing that song in the middle of the supermarket, you won’t be so tired of it as you realize that it’s helping her learn.

5. Family Names

Have your child read her parents’ names or family names on cards, envelopes, and even on social media pages. Spell them out and sound them out with her as she is learning. With this activity, you can also teach your child to spell her own name and address, which can come in very handy.

This is Just the Beginning!

Using these activities, don’t be shy about coming up with your own variants. Cater them to her interests and favorites so that she will really want to do each activity instead of feeling like it’s some sort of chore. Next time she wants to read a story for bedtime, tell her to read one for you!


  1. I encourage parents to PLAY with words and forget about the goal of getting them to be early readers. Remember that our children keenly sense our hidden agendae.

    I read to my sons while they were in utero…because I love to read. I read to my sons when they were babies…because I love to read and wanted them to love to read, too. I read to them at bedtime and any other time during the day when they brought me books. We acted out the stories at THEIR initiatives. I followed their leads. They directed me to do and be certain characters. We recited Sandra Boynton books in the car while we drove. They dictated their stories to me and then they illustrated them and then I read them to them.

    They memorized the stories; they loved bookstores and libraries. We spelled out words in the sand at the beach; they dictated lists of their favorite words to me and we posted them on our walls.

    We had fun with words and reading and everywhere we found or made books.

    I never engaged in any formal teaching. I never had the goal of making them early readers. I respected that each of them is a unique person and designed to learn at their own pace.

    Oh. Did I mention that the elder son read at age 4 and the younger one at 3 years and 4 months?

    It wasn’t my goal. But I guess it IS a reflection of great love of language and words…

  2. The first one is really great! I work with children with communication delays and labeling things for them is a great way to get those first sounds out. Great article!


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