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Everything Kids: Early Literacy

For kids, parents, and teachers.

Help your child get ready to read with five simple activities!

What is Early Literacy?

Photo of Mother and Child reading.Early literacy is what children know about reading and writing before they actually start formal instruction. It is the process and activities that build a foundation to help children get ready to learn to read.  It is never too early to prepare children for success as readers. Parents just need to read, sing, play, write and talk with their child!


Talk with your child about anything and everything!  Use the language with which you are most comfortable.  Ask questions and allow your child plenty of time to talk back to you.


sing iconSongs are a fun way for kids to learn about language.  Singing helps children develop vocabulary, break down words into smaller sounds, get exposure to rhyming, and helps them develop listening skills. The library has a variety of children's music CDs available, but you do not have to stick to children's songs.  Turn on the radio and clap along to your favorite tunes!

Here are just a few CDs to check out, but don't hesitate to ask your librarian for more suggestions!


read iconReading to and with your child remains the single most effective way to prepare your child to become a successful reader.  Library staff can suggest books you and your child may enjoy. If you have not done so already, get a library card.  It is free!

Below are documents with tips on selecting books for your little one.


write iconWriting with your child helps him or her understand that print has meaning - that the symbols stand for words.  Let your child draw stories.  Experiment with crayons, markers, and paint.  Developing fine motor skills needed for writing can also include activities such as cutting with child safe scissors, doing puzzles, and playing with blocks.


play icon"Play is the work of children!"  This is a quote used by child development specialists everywhere.  Young children learn about language and ideas through play.  Give your child plenty of time and opportunities to play.  You don't need a lot of fancy toys.  For example, empty boxes can become a house or a car.

The Library offers a variety of children's programs and storytimes, and there are often plenty of chances for children to play and interact at the programs.  Several of the libraries offer early literacy toys such as interactive play cubes and puzzles.