What Is Early Literacy?
Early Literacy is everything that children learn about reading and writing before they can actually read and write. Reading aloud and
bringing books into daily life is the key to encouraging and developing a young child's ability to read. By reading, talking,
singing, and playing with your child—you give them the foundation for literacy and success!
Reading aloud or shared reading is the best way to prepare a child to read independently.
- Read together every day
- Borrow books from the library
- Come to a story time
Talk to your baby and young children; they are listening and learning about language.
- Talk about anything and everything, especially your actions—"now I'm going to tie your shoes!"
- Ask your child to tell you a story or talk about their day.
- Borrow wordless books from the library. Talk about the pictures and narrate the story depicted in the illustrations.
When you sing or listen to music, your child learns the rhythms of language & becomes aware of the smaller sounds that make words.
- Sing a song while you ride the bus or take a walk
- Borrow children's CDs from the library
- Try singing, rather than reading, a book of children's poetry or nursery rhymes
Play is learning! Encourage your child in play by participating, talking, and listening to your little one.
- Try peek-a-boo or patty cake
- Encourage your child's imagination by pretending and playing make believe
- Allow plenty of time for unstructured play. Unstructured play is when your child creates games or scenarios without adult guidance.
Allow and encourage your child to scribble and "pretend" to write. This jumpstarts the skills they need to become successful readers and writers.
- Provide lots of paper, crayons, and pencils
- Talk to your child about their drawings and write captions below their pictures
Why Is Early Literacy Important?
Lifelong literacy begins long before a child enters school. Reading aloud and bringing books into daily life is the key to encouraging and
developing a young child's ability to read. Research indicates that children who have strong early literacy skills become successful
readers. Sharing books with children should begin at birth.
Select an age group for more information and book suggestions: