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What Are Reading Milestones by Age? Ultimate 5 Stages Guide with Tips!


ABC Reading Eggs is your ultimate guide to unlocking your child's reading milestones. Designed to grow with your child from ages 2–13. Try it FREE today! 

As parents, we understand the importance of literacy in our children's lives. Reading milestones play a vital role in their overall development, equipping them with the necessary skills to explore new worlds and ideas.

It's essential to remember that every child learns at their own pace, and while milestones provide a helpful framework, it's important not to compare your child's progress to others. This is merely a helpful guide to help build your child's literacy development. Remember to celebrate and reward your child so they’re encouraged to keep building on their skills.

In this article, we will delve into the five stages of reading development and provide practical tips to engage your child at each stage. 

Reading milestones by age:  

  • Babies - introducing books and reading (Reading age 012 months) 

  • Toddlers and preschoolers - early reading milestones (Reading age 23) 

  • Starting school and early school-aged children (Reading age 46) 

  • School-aged children - building reading skills (Reading age 67)  

  • Older children's reading milestones (Reading age 812) 

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Great program. Within 10 days [my son] started reading after I was thinking of getting him to do one more year of kindergarten. Now he definitely can continue to Year 1. Thanks.” – Mother

Babies - introducing books and reading (Reading age 012 months) 


Start early and ignite your little one's love for reading, setting the stage for achieving successful reading milestones at their own pace.

It's never too early to introduce babies to the joys of reading. Building familiarity with books at this stage lays a strong foundation for their future literacy skills. Engage your little one by: 

  1. Getting them familiar with books: Surround your baby with books in their environment, creating a sense of curiosity and excitement. 

  2. Eliciting responses to stories: When reading to your baby, encourage their engagement by asking questions or pausing to allow them to respond in their own adorable ways. 

  3. Touching and pointing to pictures: Help develop your baby’s cognitive skills by guiding their tiny fingers to touch or point at the pictures as you read. 

  4. Singing songs: Incorporate nursery rhymes and songs into your reading routine, enhancing their language development and auditory skills.

 ABC Reading Eggs is designed to grow with your child through all their reading milestones! 

Toddlers and preschoolers - early reading milestones (Reading age 23) 

Toddlers and preschoolers thrive on interactive and enjoyable learning experiences. At this stage, focus on helping your child recognise their letters and sounds. Introduce letters and sounds with these helpful tips for your daily routine: 

  1. Multisensory approach: Engage their senses through activities like tracing letters with their fingers or playing with playdough to shape letters. 

  2. Visual aids: Use charts, flashcards, or interactive games, such as ABC Reading Eggs letter recognition activities, to reinforce letter and sound associations. 

  3. Auditory learning: Make learning fun by incorporating songs and games that emphasise letter sounds, helping them connect the dots between letters and their respective sounds. 

  4. Create a print-rich environment: Label objects around the house with sticky notes to expose your child to letters in their everyday surroundings. 

  5. Learn on the go: Point out letters and words when you’re out and about. 

Starting school and early school-aged children (Reading age 46) 


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As your child embarks on their academic journey, phonics and decoding words become fundamental skills. Encourage their progress by: 

  1. Sight word games: Play interactive games that involve identifying and remembering frequently used sight words. 

  2. Word matching activities: Engage in word-matching exercises where your child connects words with corresponding pictures, enhancing their vocabulary and comprehension. 

  3. Predicting what happens next: Encourage critical thinking by asking your child to predict the next events or outcomes in stories, fostering their analytical skills. 


Your child can celebrate their own book reading milestones with our popular customisable reading journal. Get free access to our program with hundreds of fun lessons, games and decodable books that will guide your child through all key reading milestones! FREE trial.

School-aged children - building on reading skills (Reading age 78) 

As children progress through primary school, developing reading fluency and comprehension becomes crucial. Support their growth by: 

  1. Sight word recognition: practise sight words with flashcard games or interactive activities. 

  2. Reading familiar stories: Encourage your child to read familiar stories aloud, enhancing their fluency and building confidence. 

  3. Reading simple sentences and short stories: Gradually introduce more complex texts, allowing them to develop their reading skills. 

  4. Comprehension ideas: Engage in discussions about the stories they read, asking questions to deepen their understanding and critical thinking abilities. 

 Older children's reading milestones (Reading age 812) 

Older children's reading milestones by age reading age 8-12

As your child becomes an independent reader, their focus expands to include chapter books and deeper comprehension. Nurture their love for reading by: 

  1. Reading chapter books for enjoyment: Encourage them to explore various genres and authors, fostering a love for reading beyond academic requirements. 

  2. Reading to learn facts and write about them: Encourage research on topics of interest and support their writing skills by summarising books and reflecting on characters and plots. 

  3. Reading between the lines: Engage in activities that promote inference skills, encouraging them to analyse and interpret the hidden meanings within texts. 

  4. Maintaining a reading journal: Encourage your child to keep a reading journal where they can write summaries, reflections, and favourite parts of the books they read. 

ABC Reading Eggs has helped over 20 million children learn to read. Based on scientific research, the award-winning personalised learning program grows with your child from the start of preschool all the way up to the start of high school. 

 4 easy ways ABC Reading Eggs can support your child's reading milestones 

Here’s how our research-based multi-award winning program will help with your child's reading milestones: 

  1. Placement test in ABC Reading Eggs, ABC Reading Eggspress and Fast Phonics: The ABC Reading Eggs placement tests ensure that children work at an appropriate reading level, empowering them to comfortably reach new milestones. 

  2. Reading games and activities: Guide your child through each stage of their reading milestones with ABC Reading Eggs' fun and engaging games, reinforcing their skills and promoting progress. 

  3. Explore ABC Reading Eggs' huge library: Access a wide range of books to support your child's reading journey, encouraging regular reading habits and expanding their literary horizons. 

  4. ABC Reading Eggs' quizzes, virtual rewards and certificates: Provide positive reinforcement and celebrate your child's reading milestone achievements with ABC Reading Eggs' interactive rewards and certificates. 

Remember, every child develops at their own pace, and reading milestones are meant to guide rather than dictate their progress. By nurturing a love for reading, providing engaging activities, and using resources like ABC Reading Eggs, you can support your child's literacy journey with confidence. Celebrate their achievements, foster a lifelong love of reading, and watch as they soar through the pages, one milestone at a time. 

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