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Turning Your Toddler Screen time To lEARN TO Read time!

Want to learn how to turn your toddler screen time to learn to read time? We are at a generation where our toddlers know how to turn on the tv without a remote control!! Use iPhone even before they can say it correctly and not to mention they recognize their favorite apps like YouTube.

So How can we use the technology we use every day to our toddler’s advantage?

And turn that device/tv time to learn to read time!! Sounds amazing right, It is!!  I am going to share the exact way my toddler started to read by the age of 2 yrs and six months to be precise.


Before we begin a little background story about my little guy, he is a preemie; he was 2 pounds and 11 ounces at birth. Yep, tough times!! He didn’t have much vocab until he was 17 months old less than five words.

At around time he was 15 months old we had to get feeding assessment for him as he was not eating solids.

The Feeding Therapist diagnosed him with ankyloglossia; In simple English, it means Tongue-tie is a condition in which an unusually short, thick or tight band of tissue (lingual frenulum) tethers the bottom of the tongue’s tip to the floor of the mouth. Tongue-Tie can be treated with a surgical cut to release the frenulum (frenotomy).

It is the reason why my toddler couldn’t eat and didn’t have many words he could speak.

For this reason and low weight gain, he started getting Development intervention, Speech Therapy, Occupational therapy, and Feeding Therapy.

Despite all the delays and a whole bunch of therapies he still learned to read!! If he can do it so can your toddler!!

The Begining: ABC’s, numbers and colors

It all started with me trying to keep him in one place not running around after his lunch so he won’t have reflux and throw up. It was tough, rough times, now its under control. So, I tried to get him to watch tv, but that dint goes so well. So I switched to YouTube and started playing nursery rhymes.  I thought it help him improve speech add more words to his vocab. And soon enough he started saying his ABC’s yep not the rhymes.

Saketh at his therapy session

That’s him Saketh!! at one of his therapy session.

Saketh started to recognize ABC’s and 1 to 10, then to 20. He then picked up on colors and began to remember colors words.

Now that he knew his ABC’s and numbers up to 20 and ten colors, It gave me an idea to play phonics video to help him learn his phonics, which will also help him in his speech.

At first, I played “super simple songs” phonics songs on youtube. He liked watching them but did not pick up on phonics. Then I started playing phonics songs on “have fun teaching” channel phonics songs on YouTube. In a week he learned all his phonics. Yep, that fast I guess he liked the musical way of learning.

Pro tip:

The important thing here is to observe what your toddler likes and also approves at the same time picks up on imp stuff like ABC’s and phonics which lay a future for reading.

Here’s what we covered so far YouTube for ABC’s, numbers, colors and phonics few of the liked channels by my kiddo are

  • Super Simple Songs.
  • Have Fun Teaching.
  • Busy Beavers.
  • Little Baby Bum.

Sight Words :

At times when I would get busy with household chores or washing the never-ending pile of clothes or cleaning his throw ups, Saki would end up watching sight words videos with autoplay of YouTube.

I would just let it play no harm right. I mean he might pick up on these words or not. But he did!!

Here are a few sight word videos he liked

  • Meet The Sight Words Level 1 by Pre-School Prep Company.
  • Rock N Learn’s  Sight Words Level 1. There are more free sight word videos from Rock N Learn.
  • Have Fun Teaching Has free sight word videos too!!

My little guy liked these the most.

Praising works!!

One day while I was getting him to eat his lunch he started saying the words before the video. I was amazed. I kept saying what great job he was doing in recognizing the words. He loved my reaction — the proud look on my face when I was praising him.

A week into Saketh recognizing sight words, I printed the pre-premiere list and asked him to read the words he knew almost all of them. So I took a step further and started practicing the sight words at least once a day with him. Pretty soon he learned all of them.

Three letter words magic:

Now I wanted to see if Saketh could read three letter words so looked up some word family videos on YouTube to help him understand putting phonics together to make words.
He liked Jackhartman kids music channel and Little fox, but only for a week,  he did pick up the logic of reading three letter words. It was time for plan B, so I printed word families, and he could read them.
I didn’t have to put in a lot of work into it. It was easy as he picked up on most stuff.

Welcome To The World Of Reading!!

Now it was time to test the waters, to see if he would use all he learned to read. To my delight he did. He did make mistakes sometimes. At times he would let me correct him, and some other times it would frustrate him.

Frustrating times would usually be around when I would ask him comprehension style questions.
At those times I would let him be. Sometimes I would answer them for him so he would get the logic.

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Here are some fantastic beginner reading series that did wonders to my little one

Everything I mentioned in this post is what resonated with my child and helped him to learn to read all by himself with minimal effort by me. Maybe these can help your child too.

Hard work pays off, but Smart work pays off twice as much!! So, let use the tech that our toddlers love so much to their advantage!!

Let me know in the comments below which one of these strategies you can implement right away!!

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