Age 3

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Age 3


  • Let your child pick the book, even if it means reading the same story over and over.
  • Visit the Wake County Libraries, Quail Ridge Books and Barnes and Noble for story times, activities and to check out more books.
  • Establish a daily reading routine for 15-20 minutes.  Also read whenever your preschooler is interested in books and words.  Make sure that when you are reading, the TV is off and there are no other distractions.
  • Spend time looking at the pages of a picture book together and ask your child questions to help him/her get ready to read.
  • See Build the Best Home Library for Your Child.
  • Read tips on How to Raise a Reader (Preschoolers)
  • While reading, use expression, distinctive voices for each character and sound effects.  See Don’t Sit Still: The Fun of Reading Aloud. (English) (Spanish)
  • While shopping, point out the word on your list and on the item when you find it.
  • Make connections from the book to things your child has done or seen.
  • See Preschoolers Reading. (English) (Spanish)
  • For additional assistance with literacy see Motheread.
  • For free parent instruction of high quality school readiness and child development see HIPPY (Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters) or call Family Resources Center of Raleigh (919) 755-6959.
  • See Reach Out & Read parent resources.
  • See article Importance of Reading Aloud.
  • Go to Read! Reading Success by 4th Grade for great tips in English and Spanish.


Engage your child in thoughtful and interactive conversation on a regular basis to increase their chance for school success.  80% of a child’s brain development takes place by age three and a great deal of it is stimulated by an interaction with language.  Download the App Vroom which will teach you how to turn shared moments into brain building moments.

  • Point out print everywhere! Talk about written words you see everywhere around you.
  • Interact with your child through talk whenever possible and encourage them to ask and answer questions often.
  • Recite rhymes and sing songs. Pause to let you child finish the rhyme or song.
  • Expose your child to new vocabulary words whenever possible.  If your child seems unsure of a word, provide a simple definition.
  • Label objects in your house and talk about the link between words and the things they are referring to.
  • Encourage your child to talk about a book in longer sentences or retell their version of the story.


  • Build together with blocks, pillows, Legos—anything!
  • Get active together! Play follow the leader, join your child on the swings, run, skip, jump, walk backwards, tiptoe, or move in whatever way is fun for you!
  • Dance and shake to the beat of songs, nursery rhymes, poems and instruments.
  • Create books with your child.  Write down a story that they tell you on several pieces of paper.  Staple the pages together and let your child illustrate the book with pictures.
  • Act out stories and pretend play using props.
  • Make up games while reading.  For example, count the pictures in a book and wait for your child to repeat what you said.
  • Give your child opportunities to draw and write in crayon, marker and finger paints.
  • See Busy Fingers Getting Ready to Write (English) (Spanish) and Preschoolers Writing (English) (Spanish).
  • Take your preschooler to a class at Marbles Kids Museum.

Learn more about Read, Talk, Play by reading Project Enlightenment’s Early Literacy Tips.

See the Literacy Council of Wake County for the Family Literacy Program-Project Lift.  This program helps adults whose first language is not English, read and navigate the school system.  It also helps teach and support parents while working with children under 5 on basic literacy skills.

Download Three Year Old Bookmark – English | Spanish

For questions or concerns that you may have about your child’s development or behavior, see Project Enlightenment Parent Resources.