child reading

Programme for Ages 4-5


  • Make connections between literature and own life
  • Develop phonological awareness
  • Identify some sound-symbol correspondences (alphabetic principle)
  • Explore characters in books using varied language
  • Experience a range of genres, including narrative, informational, poetry
  • Encounter new and unusual vocabulary
  • Discuss how pictures convey meaning (visual literacy)
  • Develop numeracy concepts through engagement with literature

What to expect

  • Understand that print conveys meaning
  • Begin to connect written letter with corresponding speech sound
  • May write own name using mixture of upper and lower case letters
  • Enjoy talking about picture books during shared reading
  • Make connections between stories and own life
  • Enjoy more detailed narratives and longer stories
  • May have a particular interest eg trains and want as many books as possible about that topic
  • Pretend to read to dolls and toys
  • “Read” whole books from memory
  • Act out scenes from popular TV shows
  • Copy print and pictures from environmental signs, boxes, etc
  • Produce nonsense rhymes and other language play
  • Sing jingles from TV advertisements

Notes for parents: how you can help your child learn about reading

  • Talk to your child
  • During everyday activities, explain what you are doing and why
  • Answer your child’s questions, or help them find out the answer themselves
  • Always ensure that reading is an enjoyable and entertaining experience
  • Ask child to make lists, write greeting cards
  • Minimal TV and computer games
  • Never have the TV on in the background
  • Point out print when you are out and about
  • Play word and matching games like Go Fish, Dominoes, I Spy
  • Go on outings: discuss before, during and after the outing
  • When reading together, allow your child to talk during the reading as much as they like
  • When cooking, follow the recipe together
  • Read out directions when putting things together or using appliances etc
  • Buy books for presents
  • Talk about books with enthusiasm and passion
  • Let your child see you reading and writing often and for many purposes
  • Respond to the meaning of their early writing efforts, don’t correct
  • If child asks how to write a word, show them

BACK to Programmes and Timetables
book illustration