Encouraging Early Reading Skills (& Giveaway)

Encouraging Early Reading Skills (& Giveaway)

Mr D is now four, and in recent weeks is showing more and more interest in letters, sounds and how they make words. I have been gently encouraging him, and we have been doing this in a number of ways to help encourage those early reading skills.

here are my tips for helping to encourage those early reading skills

First up, we have been reading. We read every night anyway but I have been trying to reintroduce it more into our days at home. We used to read a lot of books each day, but this has dwindled a little in recent months, in part because we are busy with various things. I have been keen to read more and more to Mr H so we are taking simpler books that we look at together, and books that Mr D is more able to recognise the words in. We have a few phonics style books, and these phonics readers are a big hit. They are very simple with easy words that can be decoded using the phonic system. They’re great for building confidence.

We have also been using Teach your Monster to Read over the past year on the ipad. Mr D really liked this and progressed well through it, and it was certainly good for teaching him his letters and sounds. We also displayed a large ABC poster and played various games with it including this letter recognition game that I plan to amend a little with some simple words.

Miss E is now starting the ‘monster game’ as she is beginning to recognise her letters and sounds. She already knows a handful, but doesn’t know them consistently. We like to put together a few alphabet jigsaws that they have, this Orchard Toys giant ABC jigsaw is good fun (and I picked it up for just £1 in a local charity shop).

Mr D has recently started Reading Eggs and I’ll write more about this in due course. He has been playing it for around a week now and he seems to be doing well with it. Plus it has the added benefit of getting him used to using the laptop and interacting with IT etc. I have been quite impressed with it so far, and Mr D is enjoying it, which is of course the main thing.

encouraging early reading skills

A week or so ago I was doing some word searches and the children spotted me, and asked what they were. They soon declared that they too wanted to try a word search. With that in mind I created a ‘letter’ search for Miss E – literally just created a grid with random letters in. I then asked Miss E to find each letter and colour it in a different colour. She was quite good at this, but I think in retrospect I put too many letters into it, and she found it a little difficult. I think I will do this again and concentrate on 3/4 letters only. We have also been looking at some simple letter recognition sheets (the one below focusing on E and e) with colouring sheets where the children identify the pictures beginning with E etc. Miss E really likes these sorts of things.

letter recongition

For Mr D I hand wrote a very quick word search with some simple words he could sound out and read. I then made use of the twinkl create feature to put together a word search for him. I added simple words for him and created a number of word searches for him, I focused on words like mummy, daddy and the children’s names (as I know he recognises those) and he was so excited to find the words.

wordsearchers for pre school

Finally, we have been having a lot of fun with a book called Pem Pem’s Birthday from the Monsters’ Nonsense Series from QED books. These are a really fun way for children to practise their phonics knowledge as they decode and sound out words. There is a main story which I read along to the children, I then get Mr D to read the monsters nonsense, all words that he can sound out.

monsters nonsense by QED

Both Mr D and Miss E really enjoy this story and it’s good to help him build his confidence as he applies the things he is learning through the various things we are doing above. Plus anything with funny monsters is going to be a winner with the children. The illustrations are lovely and bring the book to life.

monsters nonsense y QED

I am excited that I’m able to offer one of my readers the chance to win a copy of Pem Pem’s Birthday. To be in with a chance complete the Rafflecopter at the end of this blog post.


I am hoping that in the coming weeks Mr D will really come on with his reading, and can’t wait for when he is able to read alongside me. It’s such a key skill to have and I’m so excited for him, and the younger children, to master it.

a Rafflecopter giveaway



  1. 20th February 2017 / 06:52

    All very good points, I’ve always read with my children and Reading Eggs is a great resource! Thanks for sharing with #ReadWithMe

  2. 20th February 2017 / 12:08

    Teach Your Monster to Read is brilliant 🙂 I think that one of the most effective ways to developing reading skills is to read aloud as much as you can, then it will be natural for children to start to recognise letters and words, particularly from the repetition of their favourite stories.


  3. 21st February 2017 / 17:28

    Fantastic advice. I’ve a few of these things already so I’m feeling rather pleased with myself. #ReadWithMe

  4. suzanna
    21st February 2017 / 21:56

    This is so important. I’m off to check out Teach your monster to Read. Great post.

  5. 24th February 2017 / 19:57

    Some great activities, will definitely keep them in mind as my 4yo has just started showing an interest in reading too. #readwithme

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