Reading Tips for Parents of Kindergartners

Play with letters, words, and sounds! Having fun with language helps your child learn to crack the code of reading. The tips below offersome fun ways you can help your child become a happy andconfident reader. Try a new tip each week. See what works best foryour child.

These tips for parents of kindergartners are also available to download and print:

Talk to your child

Ask your child to talk about his day at school. Encourage him to explain something they did, or a game he played during recess.

Say silly tongue twisters

Sing songs, read rhyming books, and say silly tongue twisters. These help kids become sensitive to the sounds in words.

Read it and experience it

Connect what your child reads with what happens in life. If reading a book about animals, relate it to your last trip to the zoo.

Use your child’s name

Point out the link between letters and sounds. Say, "John, the word jump begins with the same sound as your name. John, jump. And they both begin with the same letter, J."

Play with puppets

Play language games with puppets. Have the puppet say, "My name is Mark. I like words that rhyme with my name. Does park rhyme with Mark? Does ball rhyme with Mark?"

Trace and say letters

Have your child use a finger to trace a letter while saying the letter's sound. Do this on paper, in sand, or on a plate of sugar.

Write it down

Have paper and pencils available for your child to use for writing. Working together, write a sentence or two about something special. Encourage her to use the letters and sounds she's learning about in school.

Play sound games

Practice blending sounds into words. Ask "Can you guess what this word is? m - o - p." Hold each sound longer than normal.

Read it again and again

Go ahead and read your child's favorite book for the 100th time! As you read, pause and ask your child about what is going on in the book.

Talk about letters and sounds

Help your child learn the names of the letters and the sounds the letters make. Turn it into a game! "I'm thinking of a letter and it makes the sound mmmmmm."

Reading tips in other languages

A downloadable handout, for parents of babies, toddlers, and children in preschool to grade 3, is available in the following languages:

Reading Rockets (2021)


You are welcome to print copies or republish materials for non-commercial use as long as credit is given to Reading Rockets and the author(s). For commercial use, please contact [email protected]


How do I teach my 4 year old to read or identify words? My 4 year old is starting to ask me what random words start with. I have known for awhile that it was time to move forward with “reading”, but didn’t have a clue how to proceed.

I agree that Somali translations would be very helpful. Columbus, OH has a huge Somali population and it is very difficult to find materials to send home to parents in their native language.

I appreciate the information and it will be helpful for me, my students and their families. I teach special education and currently work as a resource teacher for third and fourth grade. When I use it for my students, I will change the word "parents" to "families" and then "Kindergarten" will be changed to "their student". The change will read "Tips for families and their students". This will help remove the stigma for my fourth grade students that have reading abilities that correlate with tips associated with the tip sheet that is labeled "Kindergarten".

Thanks so very interesting (this) information ;))All the best ... ;))

thanks so much for this information. It will assist our parents in helping their children become successful readers. Your wesite is filled with invaluable information.

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"You know you’ve read a good book when you turn the last page and feel a little as if you have lost a friend." — Paul Sweeney