When you have a young child, it's never too early to begin sharing your love of reading. While you don't need to feel pressure to get your three year old reading, you are your child's first teacher. You can start by simply reading your child small board books, and get your child interested in the pictures in the books you are reading. Your child should also see you reading books that you enjoy on your own, so that they can see that reading can be a fun activity. In addition, bringing your child to the library and spending some time looking at the books that are available can help encourage an interest in reading.
While Reading Together, Ask Questions
Engaging with a good book is an excellent way to foster a love of reading. While you are reading a book together, take the time to ask questions about what is going on in the book. You can start by simply asking, "can you point to the house?", and this will help increase their vocabulary. As your child gets older, you can ask them to find something red on the page, or ask what they think might happen next. With a good imagination, you'll be able to ask your child all kinds of questions while you are reading a book together.
Point Out Letters in Your Environment
Encourage your child to learn to read by pointing out letters you find out in the world. If you are driving by a big "BUS" sign, point out the letters to your child. Once they begin associating the letters they learn on the page with signs they see on the street, they will become interested in learning even more about their environment.
Talk About Words that Rhyme
One aspect of getting ready to learn how to read is learning about words that rhyme. Your child will be able to recognize rhyming sounds, even if they don't know how to spell the words. Start with small words such as top, hop, pop, and see if your child is able to come up with rhyming words of their own. Make a game out of finding words that rhyme, and this will help prepare your child for reading.
You can also work on sight words with your child using flash cards. If your child struggles and has no interest in flash cards at this time, it may not be useful at first. Take the time to allow your child to work at their own pace, and you will eventually have a reader that enjoys the activity.