The 5 Steps for Early Literacy

There are five key components to early literacy, the building blocks for strong readers. We strive to include these skills in our weekly storytimes.  Join us on Tuesday mornings at 10 am for toddlers and at 10:30 for kids ages 3-5. Can’t make it? keep an eye on our monthly calendar or sign up for our newsletter for the latest after school, evening and Saturday events.


READ!   The single most important activity for eventual success in reading is reading aloud to children. Just a few minutes a day helps build vocabulary, print awareness , letter knowledge, and phonological awareness. Building blocks for future readers!

SING!  Who doesn’t love to sing? Well, me, I’ve never been a singer but the kids love it, regardless of how you sound. Read books that can also be sung, nursery rhymes, books that promote singing, or books that can be sung to a specific tune. Just like books, songs build vocabulary by including words that may not be part of an everyday conversation. Songs are stories, and singing them turns children into storytellers increasing their narrative skills!

playPLAY!  Play time can be an opportunity to show children that print is used in a wide variety of ways.  Drivers use maps, chefs use recipes, shoppers use lists. The more children see writing in their play props, the more they learn that print is something that is all around them.  Children learn through all of their senses, so exploration of shapes and letter forms via puzzles, play dough, sensory tables, and body movements all help children build their letter knowledge. Sorting games and matching activities directly involve shape recognition and prepare children to recognize small differences in letters.

TALK!   Talking about print (in books and signs) that is all around helps children learn that print has meaning.   By helping a child notice the print and talking about it together helps a child get ready to read.  Talking increases vocabulary! Knowing what words means lessens the struggle of learning to read.

WRITE!  It may seem a little like putting the cart before the horse but early writing skills are just as important on the road to reading readiness.  There is a strong connection between reading and writing. When children are given a chance to explore scribbling, draw pictures, and tell stories, they are learning reading skills.

For a fun incentive program to keep reading with your young kids sign up for our 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten program!

Adapted from the Colorado Libraries for Early Literacy webpage.



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