How to read for kindergarten

The Ultimate Guide to Kindergarten: Reading and Writing

On the first day of kindergarten, your child officially becomes a student! It’s an exciting transition as young learners blend the playing and craft-making from preschool with more writing, reading, and math lessons. Kindergarteners get used to routines and learn how to be successful students for years to come.

The expectations for what students should achieve, and specifically whether they should know how to read and write by the end of kindergarten, vary across schools, so talk to your child’s teacher for details regarding the specific curriculum.

By laying the right foundation for your child’s success in kindergarten, you can prime them for accomplishing great academic strides for years to come. Make sure they are prepared for kindergarten and excels throughout the year with this comprehensive guide to success.

Shop kindergarten workbooks, the best series for kindergarten readers, and kindergarten school stories at The Scholastic Store!

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Kindergarten Reading Skills

In kindergarten, children begin to grow as independent readers and become more comfortable with reading, which is now part of their daily life. Students read books, the day’s schedule, class letters, songs, and poems throughout the day.

To build reading skills, your kindergartener:

  • Learns all of the letters of the alphabet (upper case and lower case) and their sounds.
  • Begins to “read” books themselves, mainly by memorization 
  • Reads and listens to stories and then talks about the stories, including their plots, characters, and events.
  • Follows words from left to right, top to bottom, and page by page.
  • Recognizes and can produce rhyming words.
  • Recognizes several basic sight words such as I, my, you, is, and are. 
  • Adds or substitutes individual sounds in simple, one-syllable words to make new words, such as replacing the “C” in “Cat” with an “R” to create the word “Rat.

Kindergarten Reading Activities

Read and Repeat: Ask your child to “read” their favorite book to you, using their memory, associations, and clues from the pictures.

Alphabet Books: Use drawings or pictures from magazines to create an alphabet book with a letter and an object that begins with that letter on each page.

Fill in the Blank: When you read a favorite picture book to your child and come across a short word that rhymes or is familiar to your child because they know the story, stop and let them say the word. Point to the word as they say it and spell it out.

Kindergarten Writing Skills

In kindergarten, your child begins to truly grow as a writer. Kindergartners start to write words (often using their own creative or invented spellings), and may even write their own mini books and stories about their lives or what they’ve learned.

Don’t worry if they're spelling most words incorrectly: Creative or invented spelling is a crucial part of developing writing skills at this age. Spelling words based on sounds helps your child consider our language’s building blocks and gain a deeper understanding of them. Most of the words your kindergartner will learn to spell correctly are one-syllable words which often follow the pattern of CVC, or CONSONANT, VOWEL, CONSONANT — think “cat,” “big,” or “rug.”

To build writing skills, your kindergartener:

  • Writes uppercase and lowercase letters 
  • Writes their name.
  • Writes some letters and words when they are dictated.
  • Uses invented or creative spelling to write a variety of words.
  • Uses conventional spelling to write some words (CVC and basic sight words).
  • Writes, draws, and dictates about a variety of topics, including their opinion and descriptions of objects or moments and events in their life.

Kindergarten Writing Activities

Label Everything: Create labels with your child for different objects in your house, like books, toy bins, foods, kitchen objects, and clothes. You or your child can write the names of the objects, and your child can draw a picture to go along with it. 

Play Guessing Games: Draw a picture and have your child guess the spelling of that word, giving them a few letters in the word as a hint. Alternatively, show your child two letters (like this: “_at”) and ask them to make as many words as they can with it.

Create a Photo Album: When you take pictures of events or people, ask your child to label the picture. Glue it to a piece of a paper so they can write a description of the event, what happened, who was there, etc.

Find more expert-approved kindergarten books, tips, and resources at our guide to getting ready for kindergarten, including a list of books to read before kindergarten. 

Shop the best resources for kindergarten below! You can find all books and activities at The Scholastic Store. 

Explore other grade guides: 

  • First Grade
  • Second Grade
  • Third Grade
  • Fourth Grade 
  • Fifth Grade
  • Sixth Grade
  • Seventh Grade
  • Eighth Grade

Reading Tips for Parents of Kindergartners

By: Reading Rockets

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 tips for parents of…

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]

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Learning to read | Kindergarten No.

74 of a general developmental type

Home » Our consultations » From the experience of our teachers » Learning to read

For you, parents!

(from the work experience of the educator MADOU No. 74 Rubtsova Marina Vasilievna )

Parents of preschool children attending kindergarten often rely on the fact that their children will be prepared for school by the efforts of educators. Indeed, specially organized classes help children prepare for school, but without the help of parents, such preparation will not be of high quality. nine0003

Experience shows that no best children's institution - neither kindergarten nor elementary school - can completely replace the family, family education. In a preschool institution, children are taught many useful skills, they are taught to draw, count, write and read. But if the family does not take an interest in the child’s activities, do not attach due importance to them, do not encourage diligence and diligence, the child also begins to treat them with disdain, does not strive to work better, correct his mistakes, and overcome difficulties in work. Some children are deeply offended by such inattention of their parents, they cease to be sincere and frank. On the contrary, the interest of parents in the affairs of the child attaches particular importance to all the achievements of the child. Help in overcoming the difficulties that arise in the performance of any kind of activity is always accepted with gratitude and contributes to the closeness of parents and children. At home, the ability to read can come as naturally to a child as the ability to walk or talk. Dear parents, grandparents! If you want to teach your child to read before he goes to school, pay attention and understanding to all our advice. To avoid the sad consequences of illiterate learning. nine0003

Learning to read

It is believed that learning to read early gives a child great intellectual potential. A pre-reader or a first-grader who is already reading develops faster, learns easier and better, and remembers more.
Where to start?

- The main rule of learning to read: "Do not chase the result!". First, show your child the alphabet. If he is interested, consider it, name the letters, syllables. Learning to read is best started on their own initiative. Your task is to support, not to ruin the initiative with excessive zeal. nine0021 - Learning to read can begin with the study of letters or syllables. Colorful tables, posters, cubes are well suited for these purposes. The material may change from time to time. And it is not at all necessary to memorize the alphabetic name of the letters with the kids.

- Pay special attention to the game form of the lessons, as well as their duration (15-20 minutes). Do not forget how joyful and interesting they will be, his further education largely depends. The main thing is not to forget that all this is just a game, and not preparation for the exam. nine0003

-If a child is ill or not in the mood to study, it is better to postpone the “lesson”, do not study by force.
-Lessons should be varied, change tasks often, because small children get tired quickly and their attention is scattered. So you will have to constantly maintain the interest of the child in what you propose to do.
-Read in front of the child. Mom is the best role model.
- In parallel with reading, you can learn to write. The child will be quite capable of performing graphic tasks: circle simple figures point by point with your hand. You can "type" on the old keyboard. Maze toys prepare a hand well for writing, in which small details need to be raised, for example, from bottom to top, or swiped from left to right. nine0003

Important about letters

You can often see such a picture on the street. Mom asks the child, pointing to any letter of the sign on the house: "What is this letter?" The child happily answers: "PE!", Or "EM!", Or "ES!" One feels like saying:

“Dear adults! If this is how you call letters to children,

, then how will your little student read the syllable "MA"? Imagine, he will most likely get "EMA"! And he will be right: EM + A = EMA. And the word "MA-MA" in this case will be read as "EMA-EMA"! nine0021 Most teachers and speech therapists agree that when teaching preschool children, the alphabetic army should be called in a simplified way: not “pe”, but “p”, not “me”, but “m”.

Learning to read at home

How to teach to read and not injure the psyche, not to force, but on the contrary, arouse interest and desire? If you actively played with the child, while attracting a book, then this will greatly facilitate the task.

The first unsuccessful experiences can completely discourage you from starting to learn to read. The child understands that learning to read is not so easy and hardly repeats attempts. Learn more letters back and forth. But to combine them into words and read, and then understand what you read - it's pretty hard. But gradually the child overcomes this difficulty. nine0003

Learn to read in the game. But, most importantly, what we should remember is not to torment the child and ourselves. Don't make it an unpleasant duty, don't compare one child to another.

Here we need patience, love, consistency, fantasy. You can beat the learning process, turn it into a holiday, into an exciting game. Keep it short but effective.

So, let's move on to the study of letters and sounds.

1. Learning is best to start with vowels.

Some parents have already introduced their children to different letters, but where do you start? You need to start with vowels, which you need to determine whether the child remembers them well.

To teach children to read, you can use cut out letters, paint, plasticine, whatever you want.

Now I'll show you some exercises that will help you reinforce the learned vowels.

- I will call you a letter, and you take it out of the magic box and we are building a house with you:

E e


Ob of


U in


This is needed for that. so that the child learns to read and write lines. ( Can be read)

It will take some time to memorize one letter, three, four, five or even six days. If the child remembers longer, it's okay. It is important that the child not only read a new letter, but also knows how to find it. You can ask the child to find the letter O , then the letter A , and so quietly the child makes a train.


Later, when the train is completed, the child can read it. If a child has a hard time remembering vowels, you can remember them associatively. But A , as always, does not cause difficulties, U are ears, And - we smile, O - this is a circle, what we see, then we say, the letter Yu - can be remembered as a skirt, E - the car is driving, E - hedgehog, If the child has forgotten the letter, then ask him: "Prickly with eyes."

The most difficult letter of the vowels is the letter E . This letter is difficult because some children pronounce it like E , this is wrong. It is necessary to monitor the correct pronunciation of the sound and correct the child.


The letter E came out to the yard for a walk, which letter came out to her, choose.

EO , change places you get OE .

So, we have already learned the vowels, let's move on to the consonants.


To study consonants, choose the first voiced letter, M, N, L, R .

Consonants are best studied immediately with a familiar vowel. It is easier for a child to remember a new letter. In addition, we thus imperceptibly approach the syllables.

To do this, the child needs to build a house out of vowels:




and I

Next, we introduce a child with a new consonant letter. We tell the child to raise the letter on the elevator while reading the syllable.

If a child cannot remember a letter or pronounces it incorrectly, an exercise called "Pens, Pens" will come in handy.

The child sits in front of you so that he is not distracted, take his hands. This exercise is difficult and requires a lot of attention. nine0003

You hold the child by the hands, and he, looking into your mouth, repeats after you.

The peculiarity of this exercise is that the child does not see the letter, he perceives it by ear.

First, show the child the letter with your hand, and let him name them, later you remove your hand and the child should show and name the letters. For example: with the letter , will have NU , etc. It is necessary to ensure that the child reads not only when you show him with your finger, but so that he himself can take and read. nine0003


Children usually stumble at this stage. It is difficult for them to read syllables together. It is important that the child not only read the syllables first consonants and then vowels, but also to be able to distinguish when, on the contrary, there are first a vowel and then a consonant.

We offer you a manual that makes it easy for children to learn syllabic reading.

Didactic manual for teaching reading "Magic Windows"

At the stage of learning to read syllables, it is useful to use such a device. Making this educational game is not an easy task. But all preschoolers like to play with "windows", and you will not regret taking the time to make this manual. nine0021 You will need:

2 sheets of white or colored card stock;



simple pencil;

colored pencils or markers;

scissors, glue.
Make a markup on one sheet of cardboard: lay the sheet horizontally, divide it into 2 equal parts with a vertical line, mark windows at the same level in each half, observing the same indentation from the edges and from the middle line. Cut out the windows with scissors. On the reverse side, glue a cap from the second sheet of cardboard. Apply glue only along the middle line, along the right and left edges. nine0021 Open the album in the middle, unfasten the staples and pull out the double sheet of paper. Cut it in half lengthwise so that you get two identical strips. Mark each strip along its entire length: draw rectangles with a width corresponding to the height of the window in the part made of cardboard earlier. On one strip, write the vowels A, O, U, Y, I, E, E, I, Yu, E (one letter in each rectangle). On the second strip, write the consonants M, P, N, K, C, C, T, B, D, G, 3, F (also one letter in each rectangle). nine0021 Insert the strips into the cardboard frame: the vowel strip on the right, the consonant strip on the left.
Now set any consonant letter in the left window, and move the right bar so that vowels appear in turn in the right window. Let the child read the resulting syllables. For example: MA - MO - MU - WE - MI - ME - MY - MY - MU - ME. Move the bar on the left to make a new consonant appear, move the right bar again, inviting the child to read new syllables. nine0021 Next time, leave the vowel you chose unchanged, and change the consonant by moving the left bar in the boxes. Ask the child to read the resulting syllables. For example: MA - PA - NA - VA - TA - BA - KA - SA - GA, etc.
You can swap the stripes, in this version the child will read chains of so-called reverse syllables, where the first letter is a vowel and the second is a consonant . For example: AP - AM - AN - AB - AT - AS - AF - HELL, AK - OK - UK - KY - IR - EK - YOK - YUK - YAK - EK. nine0021 Invite the child to move the strips independently. Ask to compose any syllable according to your task or the desire of the baby. Organize a "School for Toys" where the teacher - your child - will show his toys different syllables with the help of this manual. Good luck!

Anti-pedagogy — Reading in kindergarten

I share the experience of our kindergarten, where children and adults speak Russian, Hebrew and English (sometimes we also switch to Ukrainian). It somehow happened that I am more engaged in Russian literature - the philological past remains my present. Therefore, about books, our projects and novelties. nine0003

We read in kindergarten to learn to listen and hear. Collective reading is different from home reading when you have only one or two kids in front of you. Moms of babies up to three years old have recently complained: “I don’t want to listen at all when I read!” Everyone is listening to us. But not everyone is always heard. In the garden, one immediately feels who has the "reader's" experience. Therefore, I ask parents to read and not give up - at least 5 minutes a day, one page - no more, but regularly - this is the best and free investment in your child! Only 5 minutes - and what an effect! nine0003

Books are an ideal pantry for vocabulary replenishment. Even in the fairy tale about Kolobok, try to explain to the child about the barrels and barns. On the other hand, we are not afraid that children will not understand something. They do not need a literal understanding of the text - they perceive it as a whole - along with the intonation, the timbre of the voice ... The process is important, a small sacrament between the one who reads and the listener.

New books - read in kindergarten

We have several types of reading: thematic, modeling, "free" and bedtime reading. nine0003

About thematic reading. The whole year in the garden is divided into themes from the program of the Israeli Ministry of Education. Each theme is revealed in songs, stories, games and creative works. So we try to pick up books in Russian to accompany each topic. Here next week will begin winter and a new theme. I already have a beautiful edition of Leo Tolstoy's story "Filipok" (thanks to our Kyiv relatives for the gift for Antokha). A book with large illustrations that help to demonstrate to our Israeli children what winter is, to convey the atmosphere of that time. nine0003

New classics

The topic “Me and my body” has recently ended. We enjoyed reading chapters from a brand new book about the most interesting children's questions "Why?". Last year, a real find was the book-game “My body. From head to toe."

Large picture books are ideal for kindergarten. We read and show, ask questions, the guys look for answers in the pictures, learn to analyze. Who is this? What's this? And why…? Interrupting for illustrations, we give the opportunity to relax, to consolidate what has been read. It is still difficult for kids to perceive large passages of text by ear. nine0003

I read not only Russian children's classics from the garden. Usually, reading families give her a lot of attention even without a garden, so I immerse myself in novelties as much as possible. Fortunately, the publishing house "Mann, Ivanov and Ferber" sends a lot of the latest children's literature for review, so my testing ground is a kindergarten. And now I'm waiting for a new package from the publishing house "Walk into History" with children's books about Ancient Egypt. The guys and I adore fresh literature: it is very informative, bright, dozens of questions arise in the process, we remember what we already know, share experience ... The older group (from 4 to 5 years old) are already experienced “readers”. Reading with them is a pleasure. nine0003

Yes, and “Hare-boast” from my children's library is my age 🙂 Thanks to my parents for good books and reading in childhood.

Fairy tales-situations for modeling reading

Modeling reading. With kids (3 years +) we read more fairy tales, but not just magical, but instructive, which describe situations familiar to children: how in the morning Masha was capricious, how the shoes left the little mistress, about the ill-mannered Mouse. Sofya Prokofieva in the collection “I won’t ask for forgiveness” succinctly and vividly describes the difficulties that the crumbs face - in short fairy tales on a page and a half. The most valuable thing is that the author offers young readers a way out of such difficult situations. nine0005 With the help of such fairy tales, we can model the behavior of babies - this is much more effective than direct remarks and jerks. A series of short stories about Sasha and Masha is an ideal reading material for kindergarten. Themes and plots are a wonderful tool for education. Our Anton is still listening with pleasure! Started reading 2 years ago! “Tales from whims” (see the title photo) is a collection of various authors. Already in the process of reading, you can see how children empathize and live events together with the characters. Texts work. We checked. nine0003

Free reading. We read when we have free time, especially on rainy, cool days when walks are cancelled. Here good children's anthologies for preschoolers come to the rescue. They are good because in such collections different genres of children's literature are presented: both poems and stories, there are riddles, nursery rhymes. It is important to teach a child to perceive not only prose. Three years ago I started the Poems 2 + 3 project - they tried to learn one tiny poem once a week. Now we are returning to the practice of learning poems by heart: the development of speech and memory, articulatory gymnastics - 3 in 1! As part of the project, we even taught Japanese haiku and recited it to the whole garden! nine0003

Reading before bed. A wonderful tradition. At first, not all colleagues supported this idea, because "children will not fall asleep, but will want to listen to fairy tales." But practice has shown that reading aloud is an excellent sleep aid after lunch and a busy morning in kindergarten. Last year we read both The Adventures of Cipollino and The Wizard of the Emerald City. But the most fun experience was "Zoki and Bada" (see photo 2). We also have an audio version of this work - my son learned it almost by heart. Very funny and very children's book! Some chapters can be read as modeling. This year, my colleague Anna took over the bedtime reading baton, she takes fairy tales in the city library and reads so well that you will listen! nine0003

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