Every Child Ready to Read

Talk – Sing – Read – Write – Play

You are your child’s first and best teacher. Children learn best by doing—and they love doing things with you.

Your child’s learning begins at birth, so make your home a learning zone! It does not cost money to create special spaces where you and your child can talk, sing, read, write, and play.

The five activities below are all you need to help your child prepare to read. Practice them often for lasting benefits: your child will develop knowledge about reading and writing long before they have the ability to do these independently—and you'll have fun together!

5 simple ways to help prepare your child for a lifetime of learning.

Talk

Children learn about language by listening to others and joining the conversation. If English is not your first language, speak to your child in the language you know best.

What you can do

  • Take turns. Listen to what your child says, answer questions, and then listen some more!
  • Use new words.
  • Encourage your child to express what they think, feel, and experience.
  • Talk about books you read together.

Sing

Songs are a natural way to learn about language. Singing slows down language so that children hear the sounds that make up words. Movement develops physical literacy skills as clap, jump, and spin.

What you can do

  • Sing often. Don’t worry about how you sound – sing with gusto!
  • Make simple musical instruments with everyday items from around your home to play when you sing.
  • Play music and encourage your child to move and sing along.

Read

Reading together is an important way to help children develop early literacy skills. Kids who enjoy listening to a story are more likely to want to learn to read themselves.
Children learn best when they are actively involved.

What you can do

  • Read together every day and talk about what you read.
  • Encourage your child to read to a favourite stuffed animal.
  • In your home, have a special spot for library books that your child can easily reach.
  • Be a good model—let your child see you read.

Write

Children learn to understand the purpose and meaning of reading through writing.

What you can do

  • Allow your child to use crayons, scissors, and other tools to help develop fine motor skills.
  • Create lists, notes, or letters together.
  • Display what your child writes. Have them print their name on their work, and then stick it on the fridge.
  • Make up a story together to go with a picture.

Play

Play comes naturally to kids and is one of the best ways to learn language and literacy skills.

What you can do

  • Make time for play every day.
  • Let your child furnish their play space with inexpensive props like large boxes, empty containers, and old clothes or costumes.

What the library can do

  • We’re here to support you and help your child at this important stage in their development. We have –
  • books for you to take home and read together
  • music to borrow and download
  • places where you can write
  • places to play and learn
  • programs for all ages

1000 Books Before Kindergarten

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