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Early Learning: Early Literacy

Resources and content about early learning

Early Literacy Skills

What are Early Literacy Skills? 


There are a lot of things that go into learning how to read. Reading, talking, playing, singing, and writing with parents and caregivers all help children build early literacy skills, or what kids know about reading and language before they're ready to read on their own. These skills serve as a foundational knowledge that support children as they begin to learn to read on their own. The skills include:





By having fun with the five early literacy practices: reading, talking, singing, playing, and writing, adults can help kids build these skills, their relationships, and children's love of reading.  Incorporating early literacy practices, messages, and encouraging family engagements during storytimes and in library spaces helps to create and environment in which families play, learn, and grow together.


Reading with children from birth through three and beyond has lots of benefits! Kids hear language, pick up new vocabulary, and get familiar with narrative formats. Beyond building these skills, sharing stories together is a wonderful way to create closeness for families and inspire a love of reading within children. 


Children love singing, and with good reason! A fun fast paced song can be exciting, while a gentle lullaby helps to calm us down. Rhyme, repetition and new vocabulary in songs support children's language development, and sharing a song with a loved one or in a group is a builds connections. Music is a powerful way to support relationships, social emotional and language skills, and so much more. 


From the time they are born, children are ready to learn language, and they take in an incredible amount of new words and sounds during their first three years. Talking directly to and with children helps them learn new things, and get even more comfortable with familiar language. 


Scribbling and doodling isn't just a fun form of self expression! Writing and drawing gives children a chance to practice fine motor skills. Exploring with writing and drawing also helps children gets kids familiar with shapes and letters, as well as understand different ways that drawings can convey meaning. 


Children are excited to learn how the world works. When playing, kids build all kinds of skills: problem solving, building relationships, creativity, motor skills, and so on. Play isn't just about fun, it is how children grown to understand the world. With caring adults to scaffold play and explore alongside them, it is an enriching learning experience.