Five Great Ways to Help Your Preschooler Get Ready for Reading
More Than Knowing the ABCs
Tags: preschoolers, preliterate learning skills, ready to read, alphabet,
Posted: 2011-03-30 15:44:50 By: Joanne Oppenheim


No doubt, the first and most important way to develop enthusiastic readers is to read out loud to them every single day. Children who are read to on a regular basis learn early the pleasure to be found in books and this is by far the most central connection to making a reader! These children also start out with a richer vocabulary than children who are not read to on a regular basis.

Matching games such as lotto and picture dominoes help children develop their visual discrimination along with vocabulary. Familiar household objects, parts of the body, colors, farm and wild animal names, are the kinds of images often found in such simple matching game. Adults often take it for granted that children know these words. Before you can read them, it helps to have a broad base of spoken language.

Play classic games such as Simon Says only enlarge on the familiar Simon Says touch your foot, knee, or hair by adding in less familiar words such as chin, elbow, wrist, ankle, etc.

Tell a familiar story such as Three Bears and ask them to retell it in their own words. This is a good game for developing sequencing skills as well as memory and putting ideas into their own words.

Provide children with art supplies for making their own designs and pictures. Encourage your child to tell you about the painting or drawing he has made. Or put their pictures and photos together to make child-made picture books about "My Family" or "My Pet." In fact, you can print the words he dictates about the illustrations. Seeing his words go down on paper helps your child understand that the words we speak are words we can write, as well. This is a big idea for kids to get early on.

Here are some toys that can build pre-reading skills:



2009 Awards
LeapFrog Fridge Phonics Magnetic Set
(LeapFrog $24.99 Score: )

For the 21st-century child, magnetic letters that talk! Put the "magnetic phonics reader" onto the fridge and it will play one capital letter at a time. The toy will say and sing each letters name and sing the sound they say. Letters are raised to give kids the feel for their shapes. Use these for letter name and sound recognition.  Look for the Fridge Words Magnetic Word Builder version for simple three letter word games. This is labeled 2 & up, but is more appropriate for preschoolers and early school kids. We're heard that the toy will scratch stainless steel fridge find another home for this if that is what you have. The company has signed a verification form complying with our safety requirements. We did not independently test this toy in a lab.

Age: Preschool, Early School Years. Award Year: 2009. Click here to purchase the product on




2008 Awards
eeBoo Preschool Lotto Game
(eeBoo $14.95 Score: )

Simple matching game with 6 playing boards, 36 clear, easy to identify and match pictures and just right for developing visual and language skills. Also easy quick rounds make this a good way to help beginners with taking turns. Pieces are chunky enough for little fingers to pick up. Illustrations are by Brandon Reese.

Age: Preschool. Award Year: 2008. Click here to purchase the product on


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