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Early Literacy

What is Early Literacy?

Early literacy is what children know about reading and writing long before they can actually read and write.

Can't I Just Wait until My Child Starts School?

Don't wait. Shared early literacy experiences will be very rewarding for both of you and will help prepare your child for later reading and writing success.

How do I Create these Early Literacy Experiences?

Do this by reading, writing, talking, singing and playing with your child. These activities will help build essential literacy skills. Attend preschool programs at the library for more early literacy tips.

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  • Point to the pictures in the story and name what you see. Ask your child to repeat the words.
  • Look at signs together. We read pictures and numbers, not just words.
  • Cuddle your child as you read. Reading together helps nurture a love of reading.
  • Have your child turn the pages of a book. Ask questions as you read and listen to what your child says.
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  • Use shaving cream to write your child’s name in the bathtub.
  • Build a puzzle together. Learning shapes is a first step in learning the alphabet.
  • Trace and say the letters in an alphabet book.
  • Draw letter shapes in dirt or sand. Name the shapes that make up the letters: "b is a straight line and a circle."
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  • As you go through the day, talk about some of the things you are doing. Talking teaches new words!
  • When sharing a book about animals, say the animal sounds. Let your child say the sounds too.
  • Stretch your child’s vocabulary. Repeat what your child says and use new words. “You want a banana? That’s a very healthy choice.”
  • Ask your child to tell you about something that happened to him today. Ask questions that can’t be answered with “yes” or “no.”
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  • Sing the ABC song.
  • Sing nursery rhymes. Singing helps children hear the different sounds in words.
  • Clap along to songs so children hear the individual sounds of each word.
  • Play rhyming games. "I spy something red that rhymes with fall. What is it?" "BALL!"
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  • Blow bubbles. Blowing exercises position and strengthen the tongue for sounds produced in the back of the mouth.
  • Attend a children’s program at the library.
  • Let your child tell a story using puppets.
  • Turn a cereal box into a jet pack or a dinosaur. Encourage your child to think creatively.

Early Literacy Programs & Events