Early Literacy Tips

Help get your child ready to read with these simple activities! Information based on "Every Child Ready to Read," a project of the Association for Library Service to Children and the Public Library Association, divisions of the American Library Association.

Talking

Talk to your child, no matter what age, and encourage your child to talk with you. Children need a vocabulary of 3,000-5,000 words by the time they enter school. Stretch your child's vocabulary by repeating what your child says and use new words.

Writing

Writing begins with scribbles and other marks. Encourage this by providing many opportunities to draw and write. Point out differences and similarities between letters and shapes.

Reading

Find books that you and your child will be enthusiastic to share. Use books to teach new words. Books can teach less common words, words that children may not hear in everyday conversation.

Singing

Sing the alphabet song. Clap along to the rhythms in songs so children hear the syllables in words.

Playing

Give your child plenty of playtime. Some of the best kinds of play are unstructured, when children can use their imaginations and create stories about what they're doing. Encourage dramatic play. When children make up stories using puppets or stuffed animals, they develop important narrative skills, helping them understand that stories and books have a beginning, middle, and end.