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How do you teach a two year old to read?

He already knows the alphabet and the letter sounds. How do I transition into the next step - putting the sounds together? I've never taught a child to read before so any advice is greatly appreciated!


Asked by Anonymous at 4:37 PM on May. 3, 2010 in Toddlers (1-2)

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Answers (9)
  • Read. Read. Read and then read some more. I had two early readers - both by their own choice. We did very little other than read to them. When you're reading, trail your finger under the words. He'll make the connection that the words he's hearing are the words you're pointing to.

    Play games with letter sounds. Play I Spy and use letter sounds as a clue. "I spy something that starts with the letter B. Buh, Buh, Buh, B." then "Second clue, I spy something that begins with the letter B and ends with the letter L. [make L sound.] L. Yes, that's right ball! Ball is spelled B-A-L-L."

    Let him draw and create. When he's done, label the artwork for him with his input. "What did you draw? A bird? Ok, I'll write bird on the paper for you. B-i-r-d spells bird. See?"

    Remember that reading is not just books. Read signs. Read logos. Read shopping lists. Go shopping and give him a list to follow - pictures and words. (cont)

    Answer by ldmrmom at 10:30 AM on May. 4, 2010

  • Teacher here: First off, don't push too hard, you will only frustrate him and possibly make him hate to read!

    Make it fun! Get easy to read books, for example: get books with a picture of a cat...with the word cat underneath. Know the type I mean?

    You read first, then let him have a turn. "reading"

    If he doesnt pick up quickly dont get discouraged he is SOOO young...most kids dont read at this age.

    My dd did without one bit of help from me, but she has aspergers which enhances her reading skills ;)

    Answer by Anonymous at 4:41 PM on May. 3, 2010

  • OP - thanks! I have never once pushed him into learning so that won't be a problem. I don't care if he learns to read at 2,4, or 6. I did want to encourage him though - he picks it up so easily! We do read a lot and I sound out the easy words for him and encourage him to try but I think those shorter books with the one word would be more helpful. Thanks again!

    Answer by Anonymous at 4:47 PM on May. 3, 2010

  • It's sad that parents today feel the need to push their kids to grow up too soon. Shame on you. Instead of socusing on academics, try allowing your child plenty of opportunities for unstructured play? Children this age learn best through PLAY, not sitting down with mom, learning the alphabet and learning to read!

    Answer by Anonymous at 7:41 PM on May. 3, 2010

  • **focusing

    Answer by Anonymous at 7:42 PM on May. 3, 2010

  • just keep encouraging him and reading to him there is nothing wrong teaching your child to read early you should be teaching your child all types of things why is it wrong to teach them their letters as well

    Answer by symle456 at 9:31 PM on May. 3, 2010


    Answer by Anonymous at 9:34 PM on May. 3, 2010

  • Sight words are a good way to start. Put up words up and say them. If it is cat you might put a pic of a cat. I know that you are not forcing. My kids have all learned quickly. But do make it fun. Don't get frustrated if one day they can do it and the next they don't. They will fully one day!!

    Answer by tichelle at 8:09 AM on May. 4, 2010

  • mostly, make it fun. From what you've shared here, it doesn't sound like your pushing at all. There's no reason at all not to give your child access to something he seems interested in - just keep it fun and follow his lead. My oldest began to read at 2.5. My youngest was 3. No one pushed them. No one gave them worksheets and flashcards or drilled them until they got it. We just read daily, made words into games, did the things I shared above, and had a good time with it. It clicked when they were ready to get it.

    Encourage your son to make up his own stories. Help him by writing down the story he tells. Read in repetition. He'll memorize some of those books and that's ok - he'll know the words and will start to connect the collection of letters on the page to the words he's reciting. Try 'phonics' and "level 1" readers. GO to and, etc. Let him play those games.

    Answer by ldmrmom at 10:34 AM on May. 4, 2010