When Do Kids Learn to Read?

When Do Kids Learn to Read?

22 June 2022 • Words by Nanette Botha 3 mins

Children all develop at their own pace. Some kids may start to recognize some sounds or words around four or five years of age, but generally, children learn to read between the ages of six and seven years. If reading is a strength for your child, you would want to build on the strength so that they can start to learn through reading sooner rather than later. If your child is struggling with reading, there are also a few things you can do at home to support their development.


The most important aspect with regards to kids learning to read is to develop a love for reading! Learning how to read is part of a child’s academic development, but even if they can read well, it does not mean that they have learned to love reading. Any person, children as well as adults, will only set aside time for reading if they enjoy doing so. If not, reading often turns into a struggle. It is also much easier to spend time learning and developing a new skill if you enjoy what you are working on; therefore time spent on teaching a child to love to read is never time wasted.

Developing a love for reading can be easy and these three simple steps will help you get started at home:

Read to your child

If this is not something you are already doing, start today! Don’t put any pressure on your child to follow the text, recognize words or even answer questions. Just read for pure enjoyment. Massaro (2017) writes that there are many benefits of reading aloud to children. One of the most significant benefits is developing a love for reading.


Make reading part of your child’s daily routine

Reading fits well within a bedtime routine. Ensure that your child’s bedtime routine starts early enough so that there is enough time for reading together every night. Don’t forget to also include some calming bedtime music or a sleep meditation into the bedtime routine.


Read different books

But don’t be afraid to repeat books either. Your child might have a favorite that they ask for numerous times a week…read it!


If you follow these strategies you will start to foster a love for reading in your child.



When your child starts to show an interest or an awareness of letters, sounds or words – it may be a good idea to expose them to some simple, everyday reading.


Try to leave any devices and distractions out of the way while you are spending time reading with your child. Even if it has been a tough, busy day, a few minutes of reading together before bedtime can help to set the tone for going to bed calmly and happily (for you and your child).

  • Nanette Botha