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Preschool Age(3-5 years old)

At This Age

preschool age child with bookYour child will ask you to read her/him a story in a book. Preschool-age children begin to recognize and match sounds and rhymes in familiar words. Your child will be able to tell the difference between letters and other symbols. Introduce your child to letters and their sounds in familiar words, especially in her/his own name.

As a reader, your child will begin to hold books the right way and view one page at a time from the front to the back of the book and know that the book has a title, author, and illustrator. In time, she/he will understand the difference between letters, words, and sentences. Preschool-age children choose books to read that have some familiar words in it. Your child may pretend to read a favorite book in her/his own words to you or another child.

Reading Together

When reading a rhyming book to a child, emphasize rhymes, such as "fat cat." Say and point to letters in books, on puzzles or toys, and on your child's clothing. When looking at a picture book, point to the word under the picture and ask the child, "What do you think this word says?" Praise your child for her/his attention to letters, words, and sounds.

Take your child to the library to choose some books to take home. Choose books that match your child's interest. When reading stories, ask your child, "Where does the story begin?" Help your child by pointing to where you will start reading words. Show her/him by pointing to the words and saying, "You start to read here" (moving her/his finger left to right, line by line). Read adult books while your child is looking at or reading her/his own books so that she/he sees how important reading is.

Authors to Enjoy

Lois EhlertListen to Lois Ehlert read Moon Rope / Un lazo a la luna at TeachingBooks.net.

The Big Picture

Your child sprouts as a learner when she/he understands that letters and pictures are symbols that tell stories. Your preschool-age child's brain is beginning to understand basic time concepts, so picture books in which something happens over time are really enjoyable. Just as a new plant needs sunlight and water to grow, your little one needs to read many stories with you so that she/he is ready to learn how to read.

© 2013 Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction