Early Literacy

Did you know that just by playing with your child, you are helping your child to learn? You are your child's first and best teacher.

Early Literacy Begins with You

Early literacy is what your child understands about reading and writing before they actually are able to read and write themselves. Help your child get ready to read with simple activities every day:

Talking - Talking with children helps them learn oral language, one of the most critical early literacy skills. The experience of self expression also stimulates brain development, which underlies all learning.

Singing - Singing (which also includes rhyming) increases children’s awareness of and sensitivity to the sounds in words. This helps prepare children to decode print (written language).

Reading - Reading together, or shared reading, remains the single most effective way to help children become proficient readers.

Writing - Writing and reading go together. Writing helps children learn that letters and words stand for sounds and that print has meaning.

Playing - Play is one of the primary ways young children learn about the world. General knowledge is an important literacy skill that helps children understand books and stories once they begin to read.

It's Never Too Early to Read with Your Child!Family Place baby

Babies may not understand the stories you are reading to them, but early literacy skills begin at birth.  Research has shown that even before a child enters school, what he/she knows about language influences that child's success at reading and writing.

Reading helps to develop language skills while forging a strong relationship with your child. Begin sharing books with your baby as soon as you can safely hold the baby and the book at the same time. You are building a life-long reader.

Sharing Books Anywhere, Anytime

Have a book on hand so you can take advantage of standing in line, waiting for the bus or any time when you're just waiting. It's also nice to have a special time set aside for reading such as just before naps, right after meals or at bedtime.

  • Find a comfortable place to sit.
  • Hold the book so your child can see the pages.
  • Make it exciting—use expression in your voice.
  • Vary the pace of your reading, slow or fast.
  • Ask a few questions about the pictures and ideas.
  • Let your child turn the pages.
  • Recite or sing rhymes from your favorite books.
  • Have your child select books.
  • Enjoy your child's favorite books again and again. Many kids love repetition.
  • Keep it fun!

We are a Family Place!

What does a Family Place look like? 

  • lively, filled with toys
  • packed with board books for the youngest reader  
  • a pleasant place to enjoy playing and reading with your child
  • exciting playshops to learn about your child's growth and development

Play is a child’s work – it’s how they learn and make sense of the world!

We also invite you and your child between the ages of 0 and 3 to participate in our Family Place Parent-Child Playshops. You'll interact with your child at play, book and art stations.

You'll have the opportunity to talk with local speech and language development, nutrition, play, music and health, early literacy, and child development professionals.

Contact us at 510-981-6223 or email for more information.