How to Teach Reading to Kids

How to Teach Reading to Kids

How to Teach Reading to Kids


Reading and writing are essential literacy skills that set the foundation for a child’s future success in school and life. 

Early literacy skills are closely related to academic accomplishments, the ability to communicate ideas, collaborate, and connect with others. 

Introducing a reading routine in your home can help your child develop the most important literacy skills such as: 

  • Phonological awareness: the ability to recognize and manipulate the spoken parts of words and sentences
  • Alphabet knowledge: understanding of the sounds linked to printed letters
  • Phonological memory: remembering spoken language content 
  • Visual processing: the ability to match and discriminate symbols that are visually presented 

Other early literacy skills needed for reading and writing include:

  • Writing letters
  • Oral language
  • Spelling
  • Language comprehension 
  • Reading readiness
  • Print knowledge

Reading age-appropriate books and other fun but educational language activities at home are an excellent way to promote reading in young children. (Click Here for online storybooks)

Children learn and develop through play and everyday hands-on experiences. Therefore, the best way to foster early reading skills is to play various reading games with your child. Make educational games part of your child’s daily routine to introduce reading in a fun and engaging way.

The following step-by-step plan can help innate your child into the world of reading and set the foundation for their future success.


Step One: Learning Letter Sounds Games


The first step in introducing reading to your child is helping them recognize the individual sounds in words. Games that teach letter sounds can promote phonological awareness – help your child understand the relationship between letters and spoken sounds (phonics). In other words, it can help a child grasp that words are made of small parts: phonemes and sounds. 

Here are a few activities to help your child learn letter sounds: 

  • Spot the Sound

Sit with your child quietly and tell them to close their eyes. Encourage your child to listen to sounds around them. Ask them what they hear – is it a car passing by, a dog barking, or music from a neighbor’s backyard? Discuss the sounds they hear. You can do this activity as part of your child’s mindfulness exercise for children. 

Material needed for this activity: None

  • What is my word 

Read a story to your child and spell one word in the story, for example, “Old McDonald had a c/o/w. What is my word?” You can point at a relevant picture in a book. 

Material needed for this activity: An illustrated storybook

  • Letter Sound Activity Cards 

Have your child look at the picture on a card and say the word. Then, encourage them to find the letter that matches the word’s beginning and ending sounds. 

Material needed for this activity: Printable letter sound activity cards. Below are some materials that you can use for this activity. 


Step Two: Sound Blending Games


Teaching sound blends is important as it boosts phonological awareness and helps successful reading development. These games aim to help children identify the words separated into their basic sound elements. 

Below are some examples of sound blending activities for children.

  • “Guest the Word” Game

Place a few cards in front of your child and slowly pronounce each word (e.g., cccaaarrr or dddooolll). Then, ask them to look at the cards and try to recognize the word you are saying. 

Material needed for this activity: picture cards of objects that your child is likely to recognize. These can involve objects such as a tree, doll, sun, star, bell, car, cat, dog, etc. 

  • Sound Blending Singing Game 

You can use the tune of “If You’re Happy and You Know It” and replace the words with “If you know this word, shout it out!”

While singing a song, say segmented words (e.g., k/a/r) and ask the child to guess the blended word “car.”

Material needed for this activity: None


Step Three: Learning Sight Words 


Word identification represents the child’s ability to understand and use sound-symbol relationships. The sight words represent the collection of commonly used words children should memorize as a whole by sight and automatically recognize them in print.

Here are some activities examples to help children identify the sight of words.

  • Word Search Games

One of the fun word search games is “sight word balls.” Write words on pit balls, toss them in the basket or a smaller ball pit, and ask the child to find a particular word. You can organize this game with your child’s friends to make it more fun. 

Material needed for this activity: pit balls, a dry erase marker, a basket, or a small ball pit.

  • Look for Sight Words in the Books

While reading to your child, draw their attention to sight words in the book. Point a word out and talk about each word. 

Material needed for this activity: Children’s books

  • Spot Words in Everyday Situations

Ask your child to identify sight words while shopping, driving in the car, or going for a walk. 

Material needed for this activity: None


Step Four: Present the Meanings of the Words


Once your child starts reading, make sure they know the meaning of each word they read, particularly those that sound the same. 

You can also use various strategies to explain the meanings, such as the following:

  • Play word quizzes and dictionary games 
  • While reading to your child, show pictures in the book, point to various objects, make sure to name them and explain what they are, how do we use them, etc. 
  • Share stories that portray various characters and social situations to help your child understand the emotional expression behind the words




Reading is one of the essential literacy skills children need to start developing early on. To encourage this skill, start reading to your child from the earliest days and introduce reading as a part of your daily routine. 

Share various picture books, alphabet books, nursery rhymes, and play age-appropriate games that encourage writing and reading skills. 

Reading books and playing word games helps kids learn the alphabet at a young age. These games can teach them letters and their sounds, words, and language. Early reading skills help develop the child’s ability to use language to express their ideas and feelings, connect with others, and build a strong foundation for academic and life success. 




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