Helping our babies and toddlers learn to read feels overwhelming.  Where do you even begin?!?!  

I don’t have all the answers but I do have five easy, no preparation involved, activities that will help your littles start to build a foundation for future reading!  Each activity can be done anywhere, even squeezed into the time it takes to get in and out of the car!



Rhyming is one of the most important prerequisites for reading.  It’s great to have songs and books that have fun rhymes.  But also take time to practice rhyming when you are on the run.

– Make up your own family raps!  Create a fun beat and add silly statements about your family  “Dad is so rad.  He is such a great lad.  I sure love my dad!”

– Pick and fun word and just keep rhyming: cat, mat, dat, tat, bat, wat, lat, sat….


Rapid name is a great skill that will eventually help your children read with fluency.

– Pick 3-5 words and repeat them over and over in the same order.  Try to keep the same pace: bird, dog, cat, bird, dog, cat, bird, dog, cat…

– Count repeatedly: one, two, three, one, two, three, one, two, three…

– Name letters repeatedly: a, b, c, d, a, b, c, d, a, b, c, d…


This is the easiest activity.  It is also one of the most important.  All you have to do is THINK ALOUD!

– While you walk around the house, trying to get out the door, name all of the items you are packing in the diaper bag.  Simply think aloud: diapers, wipes, snack cup, water…

– While you shop, name all of the items you are looking for.  Even discuss with your kids about which salad dressing you are choosing and why!  It feels funny to explain ranch dressing to a 3 month old but you can never start too early!

– As you drive through traffic name everything you see, the different color of cars, types of restaurants, etc!


You can study specific letters at any time.  While you are on the go just have discussions about letters.

– If you are talking about the letter d, name different items that start with d: dart, dark, deep…  Then name items that end with the letter d: lend, bend, lad, dad…


Syllable division is very important in reading.  It also helps your children in spelling!

– At any time in a conversation, talk about the syllables in a specific word… wa/ter/mel/lon has four syllables, ba/na/na has three syllables, grape has one syllable…

Reading is hard to teach and children need strong foundations in oral langue and phonology before they are ready to dive into reading.  But more importantly, reading is FUN!  Have fun with it.  Make games and laugh when your rhymes get silly!  Enjoy every learning opportunity.PicMonkey Collage

:: What age do you think children learn how to read? ::


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