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Early Literacy

Language and vocabulary skills start developing from birth. Early literacy does not mean teaching your child to read. It is referring to the development of skills that children will need to become successful later. It is never too early to start your child’s literacy journey! Come visit us at the library to find out more.

The first few years of life the brain is growing and developing and these experiences will affect children’s literacy development. There are five main areas of literacy development. They include playing, singing, reading, talking and writing! 

Play:  Learning through play is an important part of childhood. Children learn to express themselves and they discover the meaning of everyday objects through play. It allows them to tell stories and interact with others as well as imitate what they see adults do around them.

Sing: Songs allow children to hear words in a different way. Words are often broken down and repeated in song. This can help children later learn how to sound out words and letters. Songs often have hand or body motions that go along with them. This can help children learn the meaning of words and build comprehension.

Read: Listening to stories and reading together is important for a growing brain! Families should strive to read a little everyday. Hearing words builds vocabulary, allows children to ask questions about new words, repeat words they hear and learn through reading illustrations as well. It’s also a great opportunity to point out letters as you read. 

Talk: Talking develops language even when spoken to a small baby who can’t respond. They are still listening and taking it in. Talk about your routine, state words for different objects, foods, colors or places you go. Ask open ended questions. Babies babbling is their way of communicating. Facial expressions and body language are also important in development.

Write: Writing, scribbling and drawing allow children to make the connection that marks on a paper represent letters and numbers in the language we speak. Show them the letters of their name. Label objects they use, or write their name on a nametag. This helps them associate the letters and words with the object they are using or looking at. Ask them to tell you about what they wrote down. There may be a story behind their scribbles!

The library is a wonderful place for you and your child to start their literacy journey! Our librarians are ready to help you find wonderful new books, show you around the Children’s room and join us for storytime! We have lots of programming, which you can find on our online events calendar and a variety of resources in the library to get you and your child on your way!

Online resources and apps to support learning 

Little Writer - The Tracing App for Kids - Autism Apps

Little Writer (iPhone and iPad) : This app teaches children how to correctly write uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, shapes and words. It has users use their fingers to trace a line following different animals or objects. When they complete it, it then shows them what the final image looks like before moving on to the next. It’s a fun interactive way to learn and helps develop fine motor skills!

iWriteWords Handwriting Game (iPhone and iPad): This app teaches handwriting through fun interactive games. It is user friendly.

Starfall ABCS: Free app for preschool-kindergarten learning the alphabet. It shows the letters in action in a fun way using animations, images and activities!

Starfall Learn to Read: Free app for K-2 emergent readers. Includes lots of phonics activities to keep users engaged and learning!

Duolingo ABC: Geared towards Per-K-kindergarten learners, this app offers basic drills and then gradual build as new concepts are introduced.

Khan Academy Kids:  This app includes practice for both ELA and Math using animal characters and scaffolds learning to fit the user. Aimed at kids in Pre-k-grade 2.

  • ABCYA: Educational games included multiple subjects areas including literacy and math for children ranging from preschool to 6th grade. There is both a free and subscription option for the website. https://www.abcya.com/
  • Starfall: Website including language arts and mathematics for preschool, kindergarten, first grade, second grade, and third grade. Starfall’s emphasis on phonemic awareness, systematic sequential phonics, and common sight words in conjunction with audiovisual interactivity has proven effective in teaching emergent readers. (also an app) https://www.starfall.com/h/
  • Storyblocks: It is a collection of 30-60 second videos designed to model to parents, caregivers, and library staff some songs, rhymes, and fingerplays appropriate for early childhood. Each video clip includes helpful early literacy tips to increase caregivers’ understanding of child development and pre-literacy needs. https://www.storyblocks.org/
  • Literacy Center Education Network: A website that  provides basic introduction to language in 5 languages covering letters, numbers, colors and shapes. https://readtoday.net/#appEN-1
  • Reading Rockets: Reading Rockets is a website that offers research-based reading strategies, lessons and activities designed to help young children learn how to read better. They have great resources for educators, families and students! https://www.readingrockets.org/
  • Storyline Online: This website streams videos of actors reading picture books! New ones are added regularly and illustrations are brought to life! Each book includes supplemental curriculum materials that can be used to deepen comprehension skills. https://storylineonline.net/