Ready to read starts at birth

One of the many buzz words in the education and parenting realms is early literacy.  Early literacy is not the ability to read as soon as possible rather it refers to the skills that lead up to and support a child learning to read.  The five early literacy practices of talking, signing, reading, writing and playing provide a foundation of ready to read skills. As a parent or care giver you are your child’s first teacher and you have all the tools needed start your child on the path to becoming a reader.  

Five Early Literacy Practices

  • TALKING: Children learn to talk by hearing others speak.  As their language skills develop they expand their vocabulary and gain understanding about their environment.  
  • SINGINGSinging slows down language so children can hear the different sounds that make up words. Many daily routines and actions can be set to a made up tune to encourage children to follow directions. 
  • READINGReading together increases vocabulary and general knowledge. It helps children learn how print looks and how books work. Parent/ children reading moments also provides a time to bond. 
  • WRITING:Children can learn pre-reading skills through drawing and writing which is representative of spoken language. Developing fine motor skills also sets the foundation for little hands to hold writing instruments. 
  • PLAYINGPlay helps children think symbolically, so they understand that spoken and written words can stand for real objects and experiences. Play also helps children express themselves and put thoughts into words.

(Early Literacy Practices from ALA's Every Child Ready to Read)

Below are suggested titles that go along with the early literacy practices.  For example if you know the tune to Wheels on the bus you can SING the book Seals on the bus.  A was once an apple pie has rich language and word play that begs to be read aloud over and over.  The wonderful book demonstrates the many ways a book can be used but everyone's favorite is reading stories.  Chalk is a wordless picture book that reveals the power of imagination and drawing.  From head to toe encourages readers to get up and move with the story.  

  • Talk: Edward Lear’s A was once an apple pie by MacDonald, Suse
  • Sing: Seals on the bus Hort, Lenny
  • Read: The wonderful book by Gore, Leonid
  • Write: Chalk by Thompson, Bill
  • Play: From head to toe by Carle, Eric

What can you do???

  • Attend any storytime at the public library
  • Read, Read, Read with your child
  • Talk, Sing, Read, Write, & Play any time and in any way