Can a 2-Year-Old Learn To Read?

Children are born curious. Every two-year-old is keen to explore the world around them, and they learn something new every time you read or talk to them. At times, you may have wondered if you can teach your two-year-old kid to read.

A two-year-old can learn to read with the help of a dedicated parent. A two-year-old mind is capable of noticing things around them, and they’re eager to learn more. Parents can use these attributes to teach their children to read.

The rest of this article will explore this topic in greater detail, including steps you can take to familiarize your toddler with reading and making it a habit. Keep reading this article to learn more.

How to Teach Your Two-Year-Old to Read

Before starting this journey, you must find out if your two-year-old is ready to learn reading. It’s not a sign of concern if your toddler doesn’t seem receptive to reading at this age. Don’t force them.

You want them to be interested in reading. Give them some time and try again in a few months; they might be ready by then.

Let’s see some things you can do to teach your two-year-old reading.

Read to Your Toddler

“Children are made readers on the laps of their parents,” wrote Emilie Buchwald, author of much-loved children’s book Gildaen. And research proves that. According to a pathbreaking study, reading aloud is the best thing a parent can do to motivate their child to read.

When your toddler sits with you and hears engaging stories, it strengthens their connection with you and makes them feel safe and comfortable. Besides, they develop a positive bond with books and reading.

Initially, your toddler will be more interested in the pictures in the book than the letters. It’s because the images are colorful, and they can associate a cat or a dog in the book with the cats and dogs around themselves. However, with time, your child’s curious mind will notice that the letters on the paper mean something.

It’d be best to trace the words with your fingers when reading to your child. It’ll help them notice that you read from left to right. Eventually, they’ll start to understand printed texts are linked to sound and that the stories you read to them are from the book in your hand. This realization will encourage them to read themselves.

Make Reading Fun for Your Kid

The more fun your kid has while reading, the more they’ll likely to do it again and again. Please don’t make it feel like a chore. Don’t force them to sit when they want to walk around. Instead, make reading more engaging for them.

You can try using different voices for different characters and changing the volume of your sound to make it more appealing to them. You can also use props, puppets, etc., to grab their attention.

Engage Your Child in the Process

Your toddler is likely to participate in the process with more enthusiasm when you make them a part of the decision-making process. Let them choose the book. And, it’s okay if they want to read the same book every day; they may have a favorite book. For now, the goal is to make reading a habit for them.

Ask them open-ended questions. Ask them what they think will happen next. Asking questions will help them think about the story and encourage them to ask questions as well.

Provide Easy Access to Books

If you want to teach your toddler to read, you must ensure they have easy access to different books — picture books, board books, storybooks, children’s magazines, etc. You can keep a stack of books in their room.

Better yet, place them at various locations around your house, especially where they spend much time. When they come across books now and then, they’ll gradually learn to pick up the book and flip through them. It’ll help them form the habit of sitting with the book.

Expose Your Toddler to Alphabets

Before your toddler can learn to read, they need to be comfortable with letters and words. You can help them with that by exposing them to alphabets as much as possible. There are various kinds of alphabet-themed products available online and in stores near you that you can use for this purpose.

If you need some ideas, I recommend checking this Heirio Wooden Puzzle Set or Munchkin Foam Letters Set (both available on These educational toys are safe and durable, and they’ll get your child used to seeing letters and making words.

Play Reading Games With You Child

As mentioned earlier, your toddler is much more likely to pick up the habit of reading if you make reading feel like a game. There are so many ways you can do this.

Read the name on the box of their favorite cereal. Ask them to identify letters on signboards.

Play this game in different real-life environments like the library, grocery store, playground, etc. Your child will understand letters and numbers are everywhere around them, and they’re more likely to start reading letters and even words on their own.

Use Rhymes and Rhyming Words

Rhymes are a good way to teach your toddler literacy. You can ask them something like, “What other words rhyme with dad?” Or, both of you can take turns naming rhyming words.

You can also use nursery rhymes. They’re catchy and help your child recognize end sounds. You can access a list of rhyming games by PBS Kids here.


A two-year-old has a curious mind that’s ready to learn, and with the help of a dedicated parent, they can learn to read. However, parents shouldn’t force kids to read if they’re not ready.

If you want to teach your toddler reading, start by reading aloud to them. You can employ different techniques to make the activity more fun. You can also ask “what next” kind of questions.

Make it easy for your child to find books. They should be able to find them in any room. Expose them to alphabets; show them that words are all around them.


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