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The 2 Skills You Need to Develop a Foundation for Reading

1. Auditory memory

Being able to remember what you have heard and recall it later.

For a child to successfully decode words when reading and spelling, they must learn to recognize sounds. Developing auditory memory is a fundamental pre-reading skill!

Ways you can exercise your auditory memory:

1. Practice giving 2-part instructions
  • Go to the cupboard and bring the red book.

  • Draw a circle and colour it blue.

  • Do a jumping jack and then sit on the chair.

  • Hop on one foot and smile.

  • Place the teddy bear under the table and sit on the chair.

2. Play games like BINGO, musical chairs, treasure hunts and sing songs together
  • This stimulates their auditory memory as they try to remember the instructions and lyrics and listen for cues.

3. Story Time!
  • The simple activity of reading to your child has huge benefits! 

  • When you read a story aloud to your child, see if they can recall specific details as you go.

  • Check to see whether they can remember details of the story's beginning once you have finished the book. 

Here is a great read -aloud story with comprehension questions!


  • How is Pete the Cat feeling at the beginning of the story?

  • What does Pete put in his backpack before he leaves Grandma's?

  • Who does Pete visit after his leaves the corn maze?

  • After Pete scores a touchdown, what does he put in his backpack?

  • What does Pete's mom use all of his fall souvenirs for?

  • Pete loves a lot of things about autumn, but what does he love most all year long?

2. Visual memory

Being able to remember what you have seen and recall it later.

How important is visual memory? Visual memory is an important part of building pre-reading skills! 

Visual memory helps us to see the differences in the letters in words. Preschoolers would find it extremely difficult to form letters or learn to read by recognizing the shapes of familiar letters and words if they lacked good visual memory.

Ways you can exercise your visual memory:

1. Play games like memory cards!
  • Place cards face down and find partners by matching 2 pictures.

  • This helps with your child's memory of what they previously saw and where it was.

2. What is missing?
  • Place random objects on a plate or tray.

  • Study them for a few minutes and then remove one.

  • Can you remember what is missing?

3. Puzzles
  • Puzzles can improve your child's visual memory a lot. Pick one with a limited number of pieces, and as your child becomes more comfortable, you can increase the challenge.

4. Spot the difference
  • The goal of the game is to spot the differences between the two pictures.

  • With a few minor exceptions, the two images are identical.

  • Can you spot the difference?

Check out this website for some great Spot the Difference Games!


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