Your Toddler's Reading Skills

From ages 3-4, most preschoolers become able to:

• Enjoy listening to and talking about storybooks.

• Understand that print carries a message.

• Make attempts to read and write.

• Identify familiar signs and labels.

• Participate in rhyming games.

• Identify some letters and make some letter-sound matches.

• Use known letters (or their best attempt to write the letters) to represent written language especially for meaningful words like their names or phrases such as “I love you.”


At age 5, most kindergartners become able to:

• Sound as if they are reading when they pretend to read.

• Enjoy being read to.

• Retell simple stories.

• Use descriptive language to explain or to ask questions.

• Recognize letters and letter-sound matches.

• Show familiarity with rhyming and beginning sounds.

• Understand that print is read left-to-right and top-to-bottom.

• Begin to match spoken words with written ones.

• Begin to write letters of the alphabet and some words they use and hear often.

• Begin to write stories with some readable parts.


At age 6, most first-graders can:

• Read and retell familiar stories.

• Use a variety of ways to help with reading a story such as rereading, predicting what will happen, asking questions, or using visual cues or pictures.

• Decide on their own to use reading and writing for different purposes.

• Read some things aloud with ease.

• Identify new words by using letter-sound matches, parts of words, and their understanding of the rest of a story or printed item.

• Identify an increasing number of words by sight.

• Sound out and represent major sounds in a word when trying to spell.

• Write about topics that mean a lot to them.

• Try to use some punctuation marks and capitalization.

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