It is a question many parents ask themselves, how young is too young? Will I put my child off if I start teaching them how to read too soon? Shouldn't they just play?
The answer to these questions is simple; children learn through play and it is never too young to start playing with words, stories and language.
Children who love literacy are the children for whom the language of stories has been part of their early lives from a very young age. Stories open the door to a world full of imagination and language and to words, illustrations and vocabulary that is totally new and shiny.
Learning to read and write is part of a whole world of becoming literate, it is not about phonics in isolation or merely reading to your child but should encompass a range of exciting and engaging activities to develop vital early skills.
Children who attend our preschool classes come with different experiences of phonics, literacy and books and are of different ages. All the children are unique and they each gain different skills from their experiences in class.
So parents the answer is now, don't wait but begin with stories, with language and pictures, explore the world through stories and imagination and open up your child's mind to the fantasy world, to fact and fiction and to expression and creativity.
Learning to read and write is not about drilling children letter names and sounds, it is about creating a safe space where they can explore materials and have a go at new experiences, above all it is about learning through play, making friends and having fun.