How to Help Your Struggling Preschooler

If your 3- to 5-year-old shows early signs of a learning struggle, these activities can help.
By Michelle Anthony, PhD




The preschool years are the time during which your child’s literacy foundation is laid. While most children will display typical development, some show signs of struggle learning even early on. The most recent research emphasizes the importance of early intervention over the “wait-and-see” philosophy.  It is much easier to support children at this age than to have to play catch-up later!

  • Research has demonstrated a correlation between children’s nursery rhyme ability and their phonological- and print-related skills, including emergent reading. Yet many children do not have experiences with nursery rhymes or fractured fairy tales (where you put an alternative spin on a traditional tale). Support your child’s literacy development by reading and acting out nursery rhymes. 
  • Vowel work (beginning, short, and long)
  • Word Family Reading
  • Phonological awareness is the cornerstone of literacy development in this age group. If your child is struggling learning and manipulating sounds, try some of these fun games. Initial Sounds:
  • Phonemic Segmentation (for older preschoolers):
Reading Comprehension
Challenges & Disabilities
Age 5
Age 4
Age 3
Reading Support
Early Reading