Three Letter Words for 4 Year Olds

Updated December 13, 2022
Father helping son with reading
    Father helping son with reading
    davidf / E+ / Getty

Do you want to start teaching your child to read and want to know what words he needs to learn? If you do, then read on for suitable words and teaching tips.

Dolch Sight Words

If you are going to teach your four year old to read, then you might want to know about Dolch sight words. These are a good place to start. Two hundred twenty words have been identified as high frequency words and the list is spread out over the years from preschool to third grade. Of course, these are not the only words he would need to learn, but the Dolch words show up in between 50 and 75 percent of all the words in books, newspapers, and magazines.

Here are the Dolch preschool sight words:

a, and, away, big, blue, can, come, down, find, for, funny, go, help, here, I, in, is, it, jump, little, look, make, me, my, not, one, play, red, run, said, see, the, three, to, two, up, we, where, yellow, you

Three Letter Words

Thirteen of the Dolch preschool sight words are three letter words. Other three letter, high frequency words for four year olds include:

all, and, any, are, bad, bet, big, box, boy, bye, can, car, cat, cup, cut, day, did, dog, dry, eat, eve, fly, for, get, had, has, her, him, his, hot, how, huh, hum, let, lot, man, may, mom, new, not, off, old, one, our, out, pet, put, red, run, saw, say, see, she, sit, some, the, too, top, try, two, use, was, way, who, why, yes, yet, you

Three-Letter Words for Four-Year-Olds

Three letter words four year olds

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Teaching Your Four Year Old to Read

Before you start teaching your child to read, they need to master certain skills. These are:

  • Knowing the difference between a picture and print
  • Being familiar with books and know that you read from left to right
  • Knowing the upper and lower case letters of the alphabet

Next you would start teaching the sounds that are associated with each letter.

  • You could use blocks with the letters on them and put them together to make words.
  • You could also use cards with letters on them, like flash cards.
  • Work on what sound comes at the start, middle, and end of a word.
  • Practice with consonant-vowel-consonant word flashcards.

Tips on Teaching the Alphabet

A good place to start is with the ABC Song. While you are reading to your child, which should be done at least once a day, point out a letter occasionally and ask him what it is. Pick a letter each week and do activities with something that starts with that letter. For example, ideas for A - D include:

  • make applesauce or art prints with half an apple dipped in paint
  • blow bubbles
  • make cookies
  • make doughnuts from biscuits

Letters can be made lots of ways.

  • Play Do or clay can be rolled into a worm and the letters can be shaped.
  • You can take a roll of cookie dough and either make some letters with it or use cookie cutters.
  • Licorice is another good food to make letters with.
  • You could also buy cheap cereal and glue the pieces on paper where you have written a letter.

Start looking around and you will find lots of ways to form letters and make learning them fun.