Pretending to Read

Learn if it's okay if your child is pretend-reading her favorite books.



Pretending to Read

There will come a time when your child must learn that letters have sounds, that individual words have meaning, and that these words add up to sentences and paragraphs that deliver important messages. But without the "big picture" of what reading is all about — its purpose in delivering information and its ability to interest and entertain — your child is likely to become lost. So, if your child imitates the behavior of others in pretend reading, it is an indication that he is exploring and grasping "big picture" concepts. You can build on this budding knowledge by helping your child focus on detailed pieces of the big picture.


Watch for these signs as your child pretend-reads.

  • Does he orient the book so that it is right-side up and can be opened from front to back?
  • Does he go through the book page by page, even turning back if he accidentally turns two pages at once?
  • Can he locate the print on the page as opposed to the illustrations?
  • Does he run his finger from left to right (English language)?
  • Does he understand that the text never changes — it says the same thing every time you open up the book?

These are good indications that your son has an overall idea of what reading is all about. Congratulations! Your child is on the path to reading success.

Developing Reading Skills
Dramatic Play
Listening and Speaking
Age 5
Age 4
Age 3
Communication and Language Development
Alphabet Recognition
Early Reading