Teaching kids to read does not work overnight. It starts from one block to another. Parents should be with their kids at these stages of learning to guide them. The following are guidelines that may help them prepare them into reading:
First, your kids should learn the Alphabet. The first big step is to let them memorize the 26 letters of the alphabet. Everybody should be able to say and recite the alphabet thoroughly. For babies and toddlers, letter blocks or plastic letters will help them memorize the alphabet. Another easy way to help them to memorize is to sing the Alphabet song. You can download it or have it in a CD and play it over and over again,
Second: Read Stories and Rhymes. Start with a short but funny kids book. Act as the character of the story so that they will become interested in listening. Poems will also do. They can also used to read into your kids. Expose them into rhyming songs, so that they can easily learn how to pronounce syllables.
Third, Enjoy magazines and newspapers. These reading materials are does not harm your children. It is also good to have a variety of printed materials to read. Teach them letters and sounds like 'A' as to 'ahhh' or 'B' as to 'buhh'. This will help their pronunciation.
Fourth, introduce to them the UPPERCASE and lowercase of letters. Your kids should know the difference of the two and how or when they can use it when they start writing. You can buy kids books that are inclined into this matter.
Lastly, have FUN. You can think of any other way to enjoy learning and having fun. Not only learning but also enjoying.
I hope that helps!