Help your kindergartener get ready to read

The skills you teach your kindergarten-age children now will help them become good readers for the rest of their lives!

Telling Stories

Being able to describe things and to tell stories

  • Listen attentively to your child when he or she talks.
  • Ask your child to tell you about something that happened or about a picture he or she drew.
  • Choose a book that your child already knows, and let your child tell you the story while you listen. Ask questions.
  • Talk about something your child has done or seen that's like something in a book your are reading.

Learning the Alphabet

Knowing letters are different from one another, knowing their names and sounds

  • Teach your child to write his or her name.
  • Create letters from clay or paper or pebbles.
  • Point out letters on signs, lavels, or when reading books together.
  • Write words that interest your child, and make words with refrigerator magnet letters.

Handling Books and Print

Noticing print, handling books, and knowing how to follow the words on a page.

  • Read aloud every day and everywhere, from everything!
  • Let your child turn the pages, hold the book, and point out words on the page.

Developing Vocabulary

Knowing the names of things.

  • Tell stories together.
  • Talk about the things around you.
  • Add detail to what your child tells you.
  • Speak in any language that is comfortable to you.
  • Read with your child every day and talk about the story and the pictures.

Using Phonics

Being able to hear and play with the smaller sounds in words.

  • Say two words, and ask if they rhyme.
  • Play games with words, for example: "What word would we have if we took the 'buh' sound away from the word 'bat'? or: "If fishman is 'fisher' plus 'man', what about 'rainbow'?
  • Say rhymes and make up your own silly rhymes together.
  • Sing songs, or read poetry together. Make up your own!
  • Sing, speak, and read in any language that is comfortable to you.

Continuing Interest

Being interested in and enjoying books at every level and for different purposes.

  • Make book-sharing time a special time of closeness between you and your child.
  • Let your child see you reading books, magazines, signs, instructions, etc. for fun.
  • Make it a habit to visit your public library often

The library can help, too!

The library has programs and books to support children's development of pre-reading skills and to provide ideas for parents. Your librarian can suggest books for you and your child. Ask about library programs that you and your child can enjoy together.

The most important part is that you enjoy reading together!