Before children can learn to read, they must develop a range of early literacy skills. Learning these skills, which begins at birth, has a long- term impact on children’s reading achievement and academic success. Children who enter school with well-developed early literacy skills have an advantage; they are ready to learn to read (Every Child Ready to Read, 2nd Edition).

Activities to do at Home

Allow your child to select the hand they wish to write with. Hand items to your child or place them in front of him/her. Do not force writing instruments 
into a particular hand.

  • Encourage fine motor skills with fingerplay. (Itsy Bitsy Spider, Where is Thumbkin)
  • Give your baby items to hold and manipulate in their hands.
  • Speak to your baby and say words of items they see. (cat, mom, dish, etc.)
  • Expose your child to books. Seeing words written will encourage reading and writing.
  • Read to your child.
  • Provide your toddler with crayons in a supervised environment.
  • Encourage playing with puzzles as this increases fine motor skills.
  • Give your child snacks such as Cheerios to build muscles and coordination in hands and fingers.
  • Read to your child. Picture dictionaries are a great activity. Point to the words as you read them to your child.  Point out starting sounds (M is for Mom)
  • Practice writing words. Start with their name.
  • Draw their name in dots and have them connect the dots.
  • Correct backwards and upside down letters.
  • Point out words in your everyday life.
  • Allow your child to draw and write on paper.
  • Provide supervised activities with scissors and writing instruments.
  • READ – READ – READ. The more your child reads, the better they will write.


Check out other resources from our catalog.

  • Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin (E Martin)
  • My First Dictionary by Archie Bennett (J 423 Ben)
  • My Favorite Word Book by Selina Young (J 428.1 Young)
  • Kipper’s A to Z by Mick Inkpen (E Inkpen)
  • Mouse’s Hide and Seek Words by Kathryn Heling (IREAD Heling)
  • Nursery Rhyme Time by Ru Story-Huffman (LM372.1332 Story)
  • Pinkalicious Tells a Story by Victoria Kann (BDBK Kann)
  • Ralph Tells a Story by Abby Hanlon (E Hanlon)
  • Seek and Find Picture Dictionary (J 423 Amadeo)
  • Superman Phonics Fun by Lucy Rosen (IREAD Superman)
  • Hooked on Phonics Kits (J KIT 372.465 Hooked)
  • Letter and Phonics DVDs can be found in J DVD 372
  • Many DVDs are available on language development (i.e. Sesame Street, Barney, Baby Einstein, etc.)
  • Brilliant Brain Games: For Kids to Enjoy (649.5 Brilliant)
  • The Montessori Baby by Simone Davies (649 Davies)
  • The New Baby Blueprint by Whitney Casares (649.122 Casares)
  • The Secret of Play : How to Raise Smart, Healthy, Caring Kids from Birth to Age 12 by Murphy Ann Pleshette (649.1 Pleshette)
  • Your Baby and Child: From Birth to Age Five by Penelope Leach (618.92 Leach)