With the academic demands being placed on kindergarteners, it makes a lot of sense to lay a strong foundation for learning in preschool. At Child1st we aren't very excited about pushing formal learning with very young children - after all, play is the work of children! But it makes a whole lot of sense to introduce some concepts using visuals and stories so that while the kids think they are playing, they are actually receiving great preparation for formal learning in school!
Children as young as 18 months can learn basic sight words as easily as reading them a picture book. We recommend Lists F and Nouns1 to begin with.
You can let your child handle the cards and tell you what they say, or you can display a handful at a time in a pocket chart or on a bulletin board in their room. Just show your child a card and talk with them about what you can see in the picture. Later, while displaying a handful of cards, ask your child, "Can you find 'morning?' Or as you point to a word, ask them, "What does this word say?"