From the moment you can prop your child in front of a book, regular reading is an excellent step toward nurturing a confident and curious preschooler. Schedule a few minutes every day to read with your child.
Long before your child starts thumbing through his first Dr. Seuss, it's important to get him used to the look and feel of printed words. Teach him that books are read from front to back, and point out printed words on other items, such as signs and packaging. Once your child has grasped the significance of printed words, his motivation to start reading will be much stronger.
Next, teach your child the relationship between words and sounds. Explain the sounds that different letters make, and how those letters sound when they're strung together on the page. The sooner your child equates written words with talking, the more quickly he'll learn to read.
As you work through your daily reading sessions, gradually get your child involved in the mechanics of turning written words into verbal stories. Pick predictable stories with simple story patterns (such as "Green Eggs and Ham") [source: Reading is Fundamental]. As you read, trace the words with your finger, and get him to join you in sounding out the words.