How to Teach a Three Year Old How to Read

Pinterest LinkedIn Tumblr

The products and services mentioned below were selected independent of sales and advertising. However, Better Home + Living may receive a small commission from the purchase of any products or services through an affiliate link to the retailer's website.

I believe it’s never too early to introduce your children to the wonderful world of reading. From birth, babies are like a sponge, gathering the critical skills they will need to communicate. I read to all my children as newborns, and I am certain it was beneficial as they are all excellent readers.

If you are looking to start teaching your child to read, you may think that you should wait until age 5 or 6, but it’s perfectly fine to get started as early as three years of age. 

Continue reading this article if you want to teach your three-year-old to read.

Getting Started

As I stated earlier, the best way to help your child read is to read to them. The number of parents who don’t read to their children is growing. But those who do, understand that reading is a perfect opportunity for you to bond with your child and introduce them to literature.

Related: How I Taught My Daughter How To Read

As your child begins speaking their first words to their first sentences, you will see them start to recognize several things in print, whether it be a street sign or a store’s logo.

Most preschoolers will know their favorite book and how to turn the pages, even if they are just looking at the pictures. They will learn to identify certain characters in the text, numbers, and objects.

Some preschoolers may even recognize a word or a certain name and may even begin to retell the story in their own words if it is read to them enough.

Talk About Words

Having books in the home is key; you can take it further from bedtime stories by talking about the books. Discuss the numbers and letters that appear in books, and then see if you can pick them out in magazines or packages. 

If you help your child understand that words are a part of the world around him, they will make the connection. Show them the words on their favorite box of crackers or the different parts of a letter. Look for things they may recognize when you are out shopping or getting groceries.

Reading Activities

Always remember to make any activity associated with reading fun. So many children struggle with reading because they see it as a chore. If you introduce it as a pleasurable activity, your child’s chances of enjoying reading will be greater.

What Does the Word Start With

Connecting the first letter of a word is one of the best ways to get started.

You can make it a guessing game with your child, such as ‘What letter does d-d-d-dog start with?’ Or ‘What is the first letter of Daddy?’ while emphasizing the D.

Letters All-Around

You would be amazed at how easily your child may be able to copy a letter onto a piece of paper.

Free Download – Trace the Letters

Even if they write it backward, they are still grasping the concept.

Make it fun by getting little stickers they can write on with their own letters.

Make A Book Together

Even though you will be doing the writing, making a book with your child is an excellent way to engage them.

Staple some paper together and develop a theme, such as ‘My Day at School, ’ and have your child dictate the story and draw pictures while you write out the events. When you are finished, you can read the story to her.

Make Letters Together

This is a great activity that can be done inside or outside, though outside gives you more opportunity. If your child is especially fond of sensory items, roll out some Play-Doh and help them form it into the shape of letters.

Or, if you happen to go to the beach, use the sand to draw out letters with a stick. You can do the same in the snow or mud. By doing so, you are making it fun for your child to draw letters.

Have Your Child Change the Story

Whether it’s a book that she has heard several times or one that is entirely new, see if you can get your child to interact with the story. Ask what they think may happen next or what could happen differently if it’s a book he’s familiar with. 

You could also ask what a different ending might have been. Such as, in The Ugly Duckling, what if the swan actually turned out to be a chicken? 

Find Something They Like

By age three, most children have fixated on something they love, such as trains, unicorns, or cats. Make it a point to take your child to the library and find books on their preferred subject. 

If your child is eager to learn more about horses or dinosaurs, they will be sure to engage in listening to the book being read and picking out some keywords.

A List of the Best Books for Three-Year-Olds

I’ve developed a list of some of the most memorable books for three-year-olds that would make a great addition to your home library.

  1. The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carl
  2. The Little Engine That Could by Watty Piper
  3. Go, Dog, Go by P.D. Eastman
  4. Cars and Trucks and Things That Go by Richard Scarry
  5. The Monster at the End of This Book by Jon Stone

Using Technology for Reading Help

We’ve always been told to limit screen time for our kids, and while that is true, there are some great television and computer programs geared to engage kids in reading. 

Tablets and iPads

It’s clear that kids of all ages love their tablets or iPads, so why not use them to your advantage? Many of these devices can be programmed to limit screen time and only allow parent-approved apps to be used.

The following apps are highly rated and kid-friendly. And they are all free!

Here is my list of Apple Apps.

  1. Spark Reading For Kids
  2. Learn to Read With Tommy Turtle
  3. Khan Academy for Kids
  4. Starfall Learn to Read
  5. Relay Reader

Here is the same list for Android users.

  1. Learn to Read With Tommy Turtle
  2. Khan Academy for Kids
  3. Starfall Learn to Read
  4. Relay Reader

The Children Learning Reading Program

One of the programs I have seen most successful for helping your three-year-old to read is the Children Learning Reading Program. The program is based on a scientifically proven method to teach your children to read and love it. 

The program was designed by a teacher and parent of four young children who has done the research for you. All the guesswork has been done, and all the tools needed have been gathered to help your child succeed, even for children as young as 2.

Special offer 90% OFF + 2 Bonuses
$129 ($39) ORDER TODAY ONLY!

One of the things I love about the program is that you can incorporate with your child’s curriculum at school or use it if you homeschool. Reading only needs to be done in a few minutes a day, but it will make a lasting impact on your child. 

The program is not only affordable, but it includes all of these lessons and perks:

  • Lesson Videos
  • Flashcards
  • Lesson Printouts
  • MP3 Audios
  • Lesson Activities
  • Lesson Storybooks
  • Lesson Stories
  • Program Upgrades

The Children Learning Reading Program will make reading a fun activity and take the usual boring work out of learning to read. While starting early is great, you can certainly begin the material at any age. It’s never too late!

As long as you are willing to become involved in the program along with your child, you are almost guaranteed to have success. The lessons are between 10 and 15 minutes which will keep your child from getting burnt out.

The program comes with a lot of material, so you will never be second-guessing. Thirty-Two reading lessons are included in the manual, and you also get a 12-week video series. You have full access to lessons and flashcards to print, as well as a ton of cool stories that are sure to interest your child. 

Added Benefits to the Children Learning Reading Program

This unique program will give you the tools you need to help your child read as early as two years old. It will give your child more confidence in their reading and help them catch up in school if they are falling behind.

Special offer 90% OFF + 2 Bonuses
$129 ($39) ORDER TODAY ONLY!

The program makes learning to read a joy and a great way to bond with your child as you both make reading an everyday task. The concepts are easy to grasp and won’t burn your child out. 

The daily program requires less than 15 minutes a day and can be done in the morning, afternoon, or even as part of a bedtime routine. You may even find your child asking to use the program!

Be Aware of Struggles

No matter what reading program you use for your child, it is always a concern to parents that their child may have a learning disability. Early intervention programs are excellent at helping to prevent future problems.

If you notice any speech delays or reading struggles, it is always best to reach out to your pediatrician.

While they do their best, not all schools can diagnose reading struggles immediately. So especially if you are working with a toddler, be alert for any struggles your child may have so they can be addresses.


Find informative articles, videos on home and living, family, work-life, helpful products, hacks, how-tos, and everything in between.

Write A Comment