Songs, Rhymes, Bounces

Encouraging Early Literacy in Toddlers

You can encourage the 6 early literacy skills in toddlers with the 5 early literacy practices. Here are some examples:

When reading with your child, ask questions about the story and wait for your child to respond. Nurture interest in books by reading favourites again and again.
Encourage scribbling by providing many opportunities to write and draw. Keep crayons and paper on a table your child can return to again and again. The letter your child is likely to be the most interested in is the first letter in your child's name. Point it out when you see it and show how to make it.

Let your child "read" a book, which might mean playing with it or showing it to your child's toys. Exploring books is one of the first steps to pre-reading.
Turn daily tasks into meaningful experiences with songs and rhymes. Sing “The Wheels on the Bus” while waiting at the bus stop, then point out all the things you sang about when the bus arrives.
While getting ready for bed, talk about all the things your child did during the day, who your child saw, and what your child will do tomorrow.

Other Resources

Toddler Activity Calendar - Alberta Health Services
Centre for Family Literacy - Resources for Parents
Zero to Three: Early Literacy and Language Tips and Tools
Canadian Paediatric Society - Read, Speak, Sing video