A r c h i v e d  I n f o r m a t i o n

Checkpoints for Progress In Reading & Writing for Families and Communities - February 1998

  Children Three and Four Years of Age

From three to four years of age, most children explore their world and start to learn how to read and write.
Your child...
* Knows some of the alphabet sounds. Can recognize matching sounds and some printed letters and numbers.
* Understands ideas such as beside, above, under, near, and far.
* Listens, follows directions, and can focus on a specific task.
* Takes turns speaking in a conversation.
* Likes being read to and knows about books.
Your child...
* Starts to understand the connection between spoken and written words.
* Can count, sort, and compare, and knows shapes.
* Holds a pencil or crayon the right way.
* Tries to "write" ideas or notes by scribbling.

How you can help...
  • Have a regular reading time every day.

  • Visit the library often and take your child to the children's activities there.

  • Sing songs and say nursery rhymes. If your child uses sign language, sign with your child.

  • Give your child the time and materials to color, draw, do puzzles, and cut paper.
  • Talk about everyday happenings. Explain what you're doing and how things work.

  • Let your child help you with chores that include counting, sorting, measuring, and cooking.

  • Play games that require following directions, listening, solving problems, and taking turns.

  • Encourage your child when he or she tries to read and write.

  • Be a good role model. Show your child that learning is fun and important!

Books to read at this level:*
Undisplayed graphic
Three and Four Years of Age:

Country Mouse and City Mouse, by Jan Brett
Stone Soup, by Marcia Brown
The Three Bears, by Paul Galdone
The Story of Ferdinand, by Munro Leaf
Make Way for Ducklings, by Robert McClosky
Tikki, Tikki, Tembo, by Arlene Mosel
The Tale of Peter Rabbit, by Beatrix Potter
Sylvester and the Magic Pebble, by William Steig
Lyle, Lyle Crocodile, by Bernard Waber

*Books recommended by the American Library Association.

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