As you read aloud to your toddler, remember that you're not teaching your toddler to read, you're building the preliminary skills your child needs to learn before he will learn to read, like the difference between print and pictures, the directionality of text and distinguishing the beginning and end of a story. Encourage your child to name items in the pictures and describe them. Build curiosity by letting him turn the page to see what happens next. Preliminary reading skills Print motivation: An interest in books and reading. Narrative skills: The ability to describe things and events and tell stories. Letter awareness: The understanding that letters are different from each other, and the knowledge of their names and sounds. Book and print awareness: The consciousness of letters and words on a page, and knowing how to handle a book. Vocabulary: The ability to understand and use the correct names of things. Phonological awareness: The ability to hear sounds in words, such as syllables and rhymes.