You asked

How and when can I teach my toddler to read?

There are certain neural connections that have not yet formed in children before the age of five or six – these connections allow the child to decode the printed letters and then mentally put them together to make words. There are a few children who are able to read before this age, but most of them don’t learn to read through direct instruction, but rather pick it up as they go along. It is therefore not recommended that you try to teach your child to read when he or she is younger than five or six.

The best way to get your toddler ready to read is by indirect instruction. This is where you get your child introduced to books and print in such a way that they become excited about the stories that the books contain. You can show your child what fun books are, and how important they are by simply reading to them.

You can start reading to your baby from the age of six months, and, between the ages of one and two years, repetitive and rhyming books will really be a winner with them. At the ages of two and three, they will begin to enjoy books that contain more print and simple story lines.

More questions

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