Kids 3 to 5 years: Reading

Whether your child is four days old or four years old, it is not too early or too late to help him or her develop important literacy and pre-reading skills. Developing early literacy skills in your 3-5 year old child will make it easier to learn to read when he or she starts school. Children who start kindergarten with good pre-reading skills have an advantage.


  • Do it together.
    • Let your child see you enjoying reading. They see that you think reading is important and that you enjoy it, and they will follow your lead.
    • Children learn best by doing – and they love doing things with YOU. Shared reading is the best way to help your child get ready to read and also learn new vocabulary.
    • When you read together, ask open-ended questions: “What do you think is going to happen next?,” “What would you do if that happened to you?” or “How would you feel?”
  • Be repetitive.
    • Reading predictable books with your child increases your child’s vocabulary by using repetitive language patterns and phrases which engage children in reading before they actually learn to read.
  • Use an alphabet book.
    • Come to the library to find an alphabet book! Alphabet books offer many wonderful opportunities to learn letter names and sounds.

Learn more

Parents and caregivers, here are some books on reading for kids.