How to Teach Your Toddler to Read

Learning to read is one of the most important stages in a child’s development. It is also an essential skill for success in school and later life, so it’s vital they begin learning from a young age. 

As a parent, it can be hard to know where to begin. Since every child learns in different ways, there is no one size fits all method of teaching them to read. 

At Little Angels, we are experts in helping children develop their early literacy skills. To help you get started, here are our tips for teaching toddlers to read at home.

  • Understand the key skills 

Firstly, it’s important to break down the key skills required to learn to read. These are phonemic awareness, phonics, vocabulary, reading comprehension and fluency.

By understanding the different skills needed for reading, it can help you split them into different activities and ensures you don’t miss out on anything! 

  • Read to them 

Since the process of learning to read actually begins from birth, it’s important to start reading to your child as a baby. This offers bonding time for you and your baby and they will start to pick up the rhythm and tone of your voice.

You can start off with lullabies and board books and gradually progress into rhyming books, songbooks and short-stories as they reach 1-3 years old. 

  • Ask them questions 

Asking questions about the book you are reading is one of the best reading activities for toddlers. It encourages them to listen, engage and develop their comprehension and fluency.

At a young age, this can start off as basic questions, such as asking them what you are pointing to in the book. You can then progress onto more advanced questions such as asking them to predict what will happen based on the book cover and then ask for a summary of the story.

  • Make learning letters fun

Children are more likely to pick up things when they are fun and interactive. Play-dough, sand and magnetic letters are some great tools for teaching letters. You can make letters with play-dough and then join them together to make words and ask them to read them out.  

Learning all the letters and sounds requires a lot of memorization. So, it’s important to repeat these activities again and again until it sticks. 

  • Use songs and nursery rhymes 

Songs and nursery rhymes are a very effective way of developing phonemic awareness. The rhyme and rhythm help children clearly hear the sounds and syllables in words and as a result, it stays in their head! 

This is a great activity for toddlers to do at nursery as they can sing along in unison. At home, you can encourage them to clap to the syllables they hear in words. 

  • Learn on the go

Another great way of teaching your children to read is to integrate learning with the environment around them. Since young children have a very short attention span, this is the perfect way to keep them interested.

This could involve asking them to read out the street names or read what’s on your supermarket shopping list. It can help to build up their vocabulary and their confidence when reading new words. 

Development Program at Little Angels 24/7

We ensure our children develop in line with the EYFS Regulations and Development Stages. This includes developing their early literacy skills and adding to the work you do at home.

We also offer a range of extracurricular activities from music to French language classes which help to nourish and stimulate their minds. 

If you’re interested in finding more about Little Angels 24/7, please get in touch or book a tour with us, either through video or in-person. All tours are conducted outside of operational hours to help protect our little ones as well as anyone visiting our premises.