Teaching Kids to Read and Love Reading: A Mom's Guide

Hello future parents of talented readers!

Today, I want to share my personal experience in teaching my daughter to read, who, at the age of 6, was reading in three languages: Spanish, French, and English.

Let's start from the beginning: I have to admit that I wasn't a big reader in school. Every time we had to read a 100-page book, I felt like I needed the entire year to finish it.😉 On the contrary, during vacations, I loved reading the encyclopedia my parents had bought.

If you were like me, or even if you were a great reader, these 10 super fun activities, combined with your dedication, patience, and love, will help illuminate the path of reading for your little ones.

If you already feel that your little one is ready to venture into the world of letters, this article is for you!

Note: As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. This post contains affiliate links, meaning if you click and make a purchase, I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.

How to Know If Your Child Is Ready to Learn to Read?

Before we dive into the material, it's essential to identify if your child is genuinely ready to learn to read.

Here are some signs:

  • Comprehension and Expression: Your child understands, expresses well, and pronounces words correctly.

  • Spatial Concepts: They understand concepts like before and after, up, down, right, and left.

  • Fine Motor Skills Development: They can control a pencil and make strokes.

  • Motivation: Motivation is key to any learning. Some three or four-year-olds already show a keen interest in learning to read and sometimes recognize some familiar words. However, I'd like to emphasize something super important: don't force them!

The key here is to understand that enthusiasm is the real spark that ignites the desire to learn to read.

Even if they can recognize some letters or words when given the opportunity, that enthusiasm is what will truly take them far in the world of reading. Forcing them to read at an early age, though it may seem beneficial, often extinguishes that natural curiosity and love for learning.

More than imposing early tasks, our role as parents is to nurture that innate enthusiasm for discovering new things. This is how an authentic connection with reading is built, and a flame that will last a lifetime is ignited!

Talk, Talk, Talk

The first tip is straightforward and requires only your voice.

From the moment a baby is in the womb, they begin to experience the transformative power of language. The unique connection between mother and fetus is established through the vibration and melody of words. This early start in communication not only nurtures emotional connection but also lays the foundation for future language skills and, consequently, for learning to read.

So, talk to your baby, tell them what you're eating, describe the sounds they hear, and how you feel each time they move.

Constant verbal interaction stimulates hearing, attention, and memory, preparing for vocabulary acquisition and understanding grammatical structures.


For the Baby (0-1 year):

  • Newborn: "Hello, my love! Mom/Dad is here with you. Today is a special day because you arrived in our lives. Do you want to hear a beautiful song?"

  • 3-6 months: "Look at those cute little fingers. Do you feel the soft blanket? You're strong and curious. Mom will always be here to explore together."

  • 6-9 months: "Did you like the apple puree? Thank you for trying new things. In the kitchen, we prepare the foods we're going to eat."

  • 9-12 months: "Well done! You took your first steps! You're a little explorer. We're at the park; here you can see trees, benches, play structures, puppies, and children playing."

  • 12 months: "Happy birthday! Do you want to blow out the candles? The fire from the candles produces heat. You can blow them out, but don't touch them."

For the Child (1-5 years):

  • 1-2 years: "What color do you prefer for your blocks today? Yellow like the color of your shirt, blue like your pants, or green like the trees in this picture?"

  • 2-3 years: "Incredible! You said 'thank you' all by yourself. You're very polite. Do you want to read your favorite story before bedtime? Mom is ready for a great story."

  • 3-4 years: "Today, we'll explore the garden. What color of flowers do you want to plant? You're a little gardener. Small animals live in the soil."

  • 4-5 years: "What was your favorite activity at school today? What made you laugh the most?"

  • 5 years: "Well done! You tied your shoes on your own. You're very persistent! Do you want to tell me about your dreams? Mom is excited to hear what you imagine."

Every spoken word to a young child is like a seed planted in their mind, and over time, these seeds grow into the fertile garden of critical thinking and literacy.

Watch this video, where they show us scientifically how important it is to play and talk with our children from 0-5 years old.

The first five years of life are a critical window for brain development, and during this time, constant exposure to language creates an environment conducive to the formation of essential neural connections.

The Power of Everyday Words

Imagine a world full of words waiting to be discovered in every corner of your home! That's the world for your children.

To make learning an exciting experience, start by labeling everyday objects: table, chair, sofa, bed, door, refrigerator, plate, plant, etc.

While preparing food in the kitchen, for example, point out and pronounce the words on the labels. This simple act not only makes the kitchen a fun place but also establishes a connection between words and daily actions.

Examples of labels we use:

  • Waterproof removable labels for humid places like the kitchen, bathroom, patio, etc.

  • Wooden letters: perfect for use in the room; if you have furniture with different types of toys, you can label each drawer or each little box with the type of objects they contain. For example: blocks, balls, cars, or books.

  • Magnetic letters: These letters allow playing with the position of the letters. Use them to put your children's names on the refrigerator. The first words we used were ''yes'', and ''no''. There are simple colorful letters like these (here is the link) or these cute Animal Alphabet Magnetic Letters, (link).

If you want to add a special touch to playtime, Smiling Tree Toys has this beautiful personalized wooden puzzles, featuring your child's name🧩

Read Together

Before immersing yourself in reading a story with your little ones, remember that each child is unique. Discovering their preferences is crucial because by tailoring reading to their likes, you foster a positive environment that makes the process of learning to read even more exciting and fun.

Consider these tips before, during, and after reading to make the experience even more special:

Before Reading:

  • Create a cozy reading corner.

  • If possible, select fun books. Humor can be an excellent promoter of reading. In our case, the Mo Willems collection, Elephant and Piggie, was a big hit! We even read the same books at different times of the year in English and French.

  • Start with a casual chat about the books you have.

  • Present two options and tell the kids, "Let's pick a book!" Let them point and choose the book that captures their attention the most.

  • Let them point and choose the book that catches their attention the most.

  • Look at the book cover together and ask, "What do you think it's about?" For the little ones, point and share your ideas.

During Reading:

  • Make words and images creatively come to life.

  • Involve the children in turning the pages. From 18 months onwards, they can start trying.

  • Use different voices for each character and act out scenes with gestures and movements.

  • You can read melodically!

  • Follow the words with your finger so that the children understand the difference between words and images, without needing to point to each word.

  • Discuss the pictures and ask, "What's happening on this page?"

After Reading:

  • It's the perfect time to talk about the story and let the children share what they remember.

  • Ask questions that encourage thinking about the characters and their actions. For example, "Going back to the page where Tom seemed angry, why do you think he was upset?"

  • Encourage children to share their favorite parts of the story, either by describing them or acting them out.

  • Relate the story to their own lives: "Have you ever felt like the main character?"

And most importantly, read the same book as many times as they ask! When children want to hear the same story over and over, they are building a strong foundation for their learning. Repeating helps them become familiar with the words, understand the story, and strengthen their connection to the world of reading. So, no matter how many times they ask for the same story, enjoy that special moment and keep reading with them!

Sound Books

I love to read with my daughter in three languages, even if my French pronunciation isn't perfect.

The solution? Sound Books!

Sound books have been our go-to tool, and they work wonders in teaching kids new languages.

One brand that stands out is Cali's Book. They offer interactive books filled with love to inspire a passion for books and music.

The unique incorporation of music and sounds captivates children in ways regular books can't. They have a vast collection covering music, education, sports, and animals. Feel free to check out their page by following this link!

They also have :

App to Improve Reading, Gain Comprehension and Build Vocabulary

Readabilty Tutor

🌟 I just found a game-changer for our little ones - Readability!

This app is like magic; it turns reading into an adventure using cool tech stuff like AI and voice interaction.

If your child resists picking up a book, trust me, Readability is a game-changer for reluctant readers. Your kiddos, who might not have been interested before, will now be asking for more reading time. The interactive features and engaging content turn learning into an enjoyable adventure. Plus, knowing that it boosts their confidence is like an extra bonus for you as a parent.

So, if you're looking to spark that love for reading in your kids, trust me on this one - Readability is the way to go!

Alphabet Box

The creation of an Alphabet Box is a very accessible and easy-to-implement Montessori Pedagogie project.

To begin, you can use typical small boxes available in any hardware store, whether made of wood, cardboard, or plastic, designed to store small items. Assign each box a letter of the alphabet, following the Montessori color-coding suggestion—use blue for vowels and red for consonants if possible.

Next, place inside each box some miniatures or objects whose names start with the corresponding letter. For example, in the box designated with the letter "B," you can place a small ball and a button.

You can reuse small items you already have at home, such as marbles, buttons, nuts, screws, pompoms, ribbons, paperclips, legumes, among others. If you want, you can purchase miniature sets available in stores, like this one, covering a range from animals and plants to musical instruments or DIY tools.

Children have to discover what's inside the boxes. Your child will start connecting letters with the sounds and names of the things they discover.

Match letters with Colors

This activity is a fun and educational way to combine your child's knowledge of shapes and colors with letter learning.


  • Place flashcards with letters, like the ones in this link, on the floor or a table, ensuring the letters are visible. You can either buy them or create them yourself.


  • Invite your child to randomly pick a card.

  • Once the card is chosen, the child should say aloud the letter and the associated color on that card.

  • Next, they should search the room for an object that starts with that letter, and if possible, that has the mentioned color.

  • For example, if the card has the letter "A" in blue, the child could look for an airplane in blue.

To make the game even more interactive, join the object hunt with your child. Friendly competition can make the activity even more enjoyable!

This game not only reinforces knowledge of letters and colors but also promotes association and coordination, turning active learning into a playful and entertaining experience.

Other Fun Activities

  1. Cutting Vowels: Encourage fine motor skills by cutting out vowels and animals that start with that vowel. This helps recognize the shape and associate it with letters.

  2. Letter Crossword: Search for all the "A"s and ask your child to color them. Repeat the game with other vowels.

  3. Alphabet Song: Sing the classic alphabet song while pointing to the letters. This reinforces the association between sound and shape.

  4. Find the Letters: Hide letter cards around the house or garden. Invite your child to find them. Each time they find a letter, they should say a word that starts with that letter.

  5. Words in the Pool: Write alphabet letters on small ping pong balls. Place them in a plastic pool or a large container. Have your child "fish" for letters and form words with the ones they catch.

These are just a few game ideas to make reading learning fun and exciting for kids.

Creativity knows no bounds, and each family can discover new and exciting ways to explore the world of letters together.

Encourage your child to try different games, activities, and approaches that suit the unique personality of your little reader.

DdL Mom

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assorted-color pencil lot on white surface
assorted-color pencil lot on white surface
boy sitting on white cloth surrounded by toysboy sitting on white cloth surrounded by toys
person playing chess game on the tableperson playing chess game on the table
Air-Dry Clay tiny objetsAir-Dry Clay tiny objets

Keep exploring with us! Your curiosity fuels our motivation!


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