Just like walking and talking, reading is a developmental stage that children begin at different ages. During kindergarten, children often show an interest in books and exhibit early reading behaviors such as turning pages and making up stories to go with the pictures. Many children will be ready to begin learning sight words, which will allow them to read simple, early texts with growing independence.
When introducing sight words to children, you may wish to start with words that hold personal significance for them, like their name, “mom,” or “dad.” Short words, like “a” and “I,” are also good choices. It is important not to overwhelm children with many sight words at once and instead, to gauge carefully when it is appropriate to introduce more words. If children are struggling to remember words or to recognize them in different contexts, more practice is needed before moving on.