Learning to read is an extremely complex process, made possible by a number of basic ‘pre-reading skills’.  You can help your child to develop necessary pre-reading skills home through toys and play!

Focus on the Following

Recognising Letters

Children must be able to perceive the shapes made my letters before being able to recognise whole words. Practising saying, writing and tracing letters, as well as playing with 3D shapes of letters can support this visual discrimination.

Letter Orientation

Children need to understand how important letter orientation is, e.g. a ‘b’ becomes a ‘d’ when facing the other way.

The Alphabet

n the English language, not only do children need to learn the 26 letters of the alphabet, but also the 17 capital letters that are different from their lower case forms e.g. ‘g’ and ‘G’.


Phonemes are the sounds attached to letters; kids must be able to distinguish not only between the shapes of letters, but also between their sounds. You can help enhance auditory discrimination skills by sounding out letters of words with children – but they may lose interest in this quickly. A fun, engaging option could be teaching letter-sound associations through nursery rhymes or sorting pictures of common objects into groups according to the first sound of each object!