Building Early Literacy Skills
six early literacy skills children need to develop to become good readers. This can seem a bit overwhelming but children are natural learners and the more words children are exposed to through conversation, music and books, the more likely they are to develop these skills.
Oral language: speaking, listening, and communication skills
Phonological awareness: ability to hear and play with the smaller sounds in words
Print awareness: knowledge that print has meaning and how to handle a book
Letter knowledge: knowing that letters have different shapes and represent sounds and that letters are different from shapes or numbers
Vocabulary: knowing the meanings of words
Background knowledge: prior knowledge about the world before a child enters school
five simple practices you can incorporate into your daily routine that support the development of these skills. The bonus is that this is also quality bonding time with your child:
Talk: Talking with children helps them learn words. Talking is one of the most critical early literacy skills. Children learn about language by listening to parents talk and joining in the conversation. For babies, this may start off as babbling and evolves into full sentences by the time your child is five.
Sing: Singing with children helps develop the sounds that make up words. Singing slows down spoken words so children can hear the different sounds that make up the words.
Play: Playing is one of the best ways for children to learn language and literacy skills. The activities during play, like building with blocks or kicking a ball, helps them to put thoughts into words and talk about what they are doing.
Read: Reading together helps with building vocabulary and comprehension and can nurture a love for reading. Asking questions while reading a story with your child helps them find a greater meaning in the words and illustrations.
Write: Children become aware that printed letters stand for spoken words as they see words used in their daily lives. Tracing letters on their hand or writing words down on paper helps your little one make this connection.
How to Build Early Literacy Skills
Watch examples of easy ways to incorporate early literacy practices with your little one.
Early Literacy Spotlight: SING
Enfoque de alfabetización Temprana: CANTAR
Early Literacy Spotlight: WRITE
Enfoque de alfabetización Temprana: ESCRIBIR
Early Literacy Spotlight: PLAY
Enfoque de alfabetización Temprana: JUGAR
Early Literacy Spotlight: READ
Enfoque de alfabetización Temprana: LEER
Early Literacy Spotlight: TALK
Enfoque de alfabetización Temprana: HABLAR
Setting Children Up for Success
Sign your little one up for the 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten program, watch Storytime Anytime! and explore the Early Literacy Calendar.
1,000 Books Before Kindergarten
Our 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten program is a fun, exciting and free program that encourages the love of reading. Children can earn fun rewards while caregivers learn important tips that can help their child become successful readers.
Start Reading 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten.
Enjoy a prerecorded storytime at home or on the go with Storytime Anytime! or Bilingual Storytime Anytime! This is a condensed version of our in-person storytimes and includes a variety of songs, stories, rhymes and caregiver tips designed to promote and reinforce literacy and language development. A new storytime is available Wednesdays at 10 a.m.
Watch Storytime Anytime!
Early Literacy Calendar of Activities
Download the April Early Literacy Calendar for more fun ideas and activities to help keep the learning going, all day long.
See past activities:
March Early Literacy Calendar
February Early Literacy Calendar