Age 5

  • Enter Your Title

Age 5


  • Five-year-olds enjoy longer stories with more words than pictures.
  • See Build the Best Home Library for Your Child.
  • Read books that relate to what your child is learning or shows interest in.
  • Read to your child with enthusiasm and expression using exciting voices and gestures.  See Don’t Sit Still: The Fun of Reading Aloud. (English) (Spanish)
  • Read everything you see, not just books—street signs, cereal boxes, menus, and magazines.  Children at this age will begin to recognize a few sight words and letters that they see frequently. (See environmental print)
  • Show your child how to sound out words and letters by playing sound games and pointing out beginning sounds as you read.
  • As your child acquires sight words, let him/her try reading stories to you.  She may make up words to go alone with her favorite books rather than reading all of the correct words.  Don’t worry, this is a sign that he/she understands books are for telling stories.
  • 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.
  • Remember to keep reading to your child, even after they are an independent reader.  See the NY Times article Study Finds Reading to Children of All Ages Grooms Them to Read More on Their Own.
  • Your child should begin to pay attention to entire books read aloud and ask and answer questions about the book.
  • 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 the Wake County Public School System’s Video A Parent’s Guide for Early Literacy Support.
  • Go to the Wake County Libraries to check out books and attend events for kids.  Also attend Storytime for Preschoolers at Quail Ridge Books.
  • See Reach Out & Read parent resources.
  • See article Importance of Reading Aloud.
  • See PBS Parents Activities and Literacy Tips to practice key reading skills with your child at home.
  • See the Get Ready to Read! Early Literacy page for tips on helping young children develop early literacy and learning skills.
  • Go to Read! Reading Success by 4th Grade for great tips in English and Spanish.

For more early literacy information see Center for Early Literacy Learning in English and Spanish.

See reading tips for all ages in 11 languages.



  • Interact with your child through talk whenever possible.
  • Talk about the link between letters and sounds using your child’s name. Joey and jump begin with the same sound. They both begin with the same letter, J.
  • Ask your child how the story is like other things he sees or does. Does he/she ever feel the same way the person in the story feels?
  • Encourage your child to talk by asking open-ended questions, especially questions that involve descriptions or retelling of events.  This will help your child learn to use his/her expanding vocabulary.  Research shows that the fewer words a child hears and learns, the more likely they are to experience an achievement gap in school.
  • Download the App Vroom which will teach you how to turn shared moments into brain building moments.


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

Help your child get ready for Kindergarten by reading Project Enlightenment’s Off to a Good Start.

For more information about your five year old and how they develop.

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 Five Year Old Bookmark – English | Spanish