Early literacy is what children know about communication, language—verbal and non-verbal—reading and writing before they can actually read and write. Research shows that children get ready to read years before they start school. Help children learn important skills now so they can become good readers later.
Take every opportunity to read, play, sing, talk and write with your children. These daily activities will help get children ready to learn.
Monday, June 1
Babies and Toddlers: Share books with animals in them and say the sounds they make. This helps children to hear and play with the smaller sounds in words.
Preschoolers: Read – Point out signs everywhere today. Read and explain what they say and how they help.
Information about signs demonstrates to young children that print is useful.
Week of May 25
Babies and Toddlers: Have fun with flashlights. Using flashlights with older babies and toddlers is a fun sensory activity. Sensory activities build cognitive skills. In addition, babies will learn to visually track the light. Visual tracking is a skill children will use when they have to follow words on a page.
Preschoolers: Play - Use chalk to make shapes on the driveway or sidewalk. Walk along the tape lines and name the shape or call out a shape, find it and walk along the lines.
Babies and Toddlers: Give baby a large bin or basket for their toys. Encourage them to fill the bin and dump it. Babies will learn concepts such as in/out, up/down and clean/messy.
Preschoolers: Sing – Sing and dance the Hokey Pokey.
Babies and Toddlers: Unwrap "presents." Wrap toys in paper and let your infant tear off the paper. This activity will help babies develop object permanence (knowing that an object is there even though he/she can't see it). It will also help them develop fine motor skills that they will one-day use to write their name.
Preschoolers: Talk - Talk about concepts such as “on” and “off” when you put on or take off sunglasses, a hat or jacket.
Babies and Toddlers: Tell your baby what you are doing before you do it. "I'm going to change your diaper now." Soon, your baby will know what you mean, and be able to respond, when you say those words.
Preschoolers: Write - Use a red crayon or marker and keep a list of all the red things you see today.
Writing the names of objects demonstrates that print is useful.
Babies and Toddlers: Make funny faces. This helps children learn to read facial expressions. Place baby on your lap in front of a mirror and make silly faces. Learning to distinguish differences is a literacy activity.
Preschoolers: Read - Set up a reading routine. Try reading after naps and before bedtime.
Instill a love of reading from an early age by getting into the reading routine. Children who are read to daily are preparing to eventually become good readers themselves.
I Want My Hat Back by Jon Klassen
While traveling through the forest, bear realizes his hat is missing. As he encounters other animals, he asks each one if they have seen the hat. Alas, no one knows where the hat is. Then deer asks an important question, and bear realizes he has seen his hat. He hurries back through the forest to locate it. There’s a surprising twist ending, as bear finally gets his hat back. The simple, understated illustrations of the woodland creatures add a whimsical charm to this story. This is the first book in a 3-book trilogy by Jon Klassen, featuring a bear, woodland animals, and hats.
Early Literacy Tip: In I Want My Hat Back, the text for each animal that talks to bear is written in the same color as that animal's illustration. Help your child notice this and explain that this is a way the author shows the reader which words belong to which character.
Yummy Yucky by Leslie Patricelli
Leslie Patricelli has written a series of simple books for the youngest readers. The baby in Yummy Yucky experiments with all sorts of things, some that are good to eat, some not. The vibrant and eye-catching acrylic illustrations capture the hysterical expressions that result. Babies and toddlers will enjoy reading and re-reading the simple text.
Early Literacy Tip: This simple story packs a wallop in offering opportunities to talk, talk, talk with baby. The rich vocabulary spans soup and soap, chocolate sauce and hot sauce, apple pie and mud pie. Be sure to talk about the final illustrations of more yummy things and more yucky things.
10 Hungry Rabbits by Anita Lobel
One by one, 10 very hungry rabbits find 10 very yummy vegetables for Mama Rabbit's soup pot. One big purple cabbage, two white onions, three yellow peppers and so on through 10.
Ada Twist, Scientist by Andrea Beaty
A story about the power of curiosity in the hands of a child who is on a mission to use science to understand her world.
Dog Loves Counting by Louise Yates
Meet Dog and let him show you why he loves to count.
Dog Loves Books by Louise Yates
Dog loves books so much he opens his very own bookstore. At first he's short of customers. But that's all right, because when Dog is surrounded by books, he is never short of friends or fun. And when customers begin arriving, he knows just which books to recommend.
Duck and Goose by Tad Hill
Meet Duck and Goose, two young birds who mistake a polka-dot ball for an egg and have to master the art of cooperation, and sharing, to take care of it. But friendship is not always easy, as proved in this funny, accessible story.
Everything I Need to Know Before I’m Five by Valorie Fisher
Do you know your letters? Can you count to twenty? Learn all that and more in this all-in-one concept picture book.
Giddy-Up Daddy! by Troy Cummings
When rootin'-tootin' Daddy the "horse" is eyeballed by some rotten rustlers, it's all the kids can do to keep him out of the big lugs' lasso.
Hush, Little Horsie by Jane Yolen
Mama horses around the world promise to watch over their little ones as the foals frolic and play and eventually fall asleep in this soothing bedtime story.
My Dog is As Smelly As Dirty Socks by Hanoch Piven
After the girl has described everyone in her family (including herself, in great detail), she asks, "What does your special family look like?" encouraging readers to create their own portraits.
Ollie the Purple Elephant by Jarrett Krosoczka
Ollie is a purple elephant who is lost and has no place to call home. Until Shelby and Peter find him in the park and invite him to live with them.
Ribbit! by Rodrigo Folgueira
When a pig visits a frog pond, sits on a rock and says only "Ribbit!," news spreads fast, but only the wise old beetle has an explanation.
Song and Dance Man by Karen Ackerman
Grandpa once danced on the vaudeville stage, and as he glides across the floor, the children can see what it was like to be a song and dance man.
What Can You do With a Paleta? by Carmen Tafolla
As she strolls through her barrio, a young girl introduces readers to the frozen, fruit-flavored treat that thrills Mexican and Mexican-American children.
Who Do I See? by Salina Yoon
A lively guess-the-animal book that features different colors and animal patterns in a fun and instructional way. Each animal sports a pattern with a different set of colors, and young readers are invited to guess what the animal is on the next page.
ZooZical by Judy Sierra
The animals are out of sorts: listless, grumpy and no longer fun. All except two little friends, a very small hippo and a baby kangaroo. Their hip-hopping, toe-tapping and rap-rocking soon has the other animals joining in the hip-aroo beat.