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Every Child Ready to Read

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You and your child will have great fun with some of these simple, everyday activities. And remember that it is never too early to begin.




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Brain Power

Beginning at birth and during your child’s early years, crucial connections are formed and strengthened in the brain through repeated playful, loving, and stimulating experiences. Each time you read a story, tickle a belly, sing a song, or play peek-a-boo, connections are made between brain cells. Repetition makes the connections stronger, so sing that song again!

Mother and daughter reading a bookBabies

Everyday Activities to Share with Your Baby

  • Cuddle and read together
  • Talk about the book and pictures you read                                                                 
  • Play peek-a-boo
  • Go to the library for Storytime
  • Tickle baby’s toes, reciting "This Little Piggie"                                 
  • Keep a basket of books in the baby’s play area
  • Sing songs with the baby as you drive
  • Tell stories during bath time
  • Chant "Pat-a-Cake"
  • Sing lullabies before bedtime or nap time
  • Repeat favorite activities over and over


Boy reading a book


  • Read together every day; let your toddler hold the book and turn pages
  • Read favorite books over and over
  • Tell a favorite story using a puppet
  • Talk about the book as you read
  • Go to the library for books and Storytime
  • Take a walk, talking about what you see and reading signs as you go
  • Keep paper, crayons, and markers available
  • Act out “Five Little Monkeys, Jumping on the Bed” or other rhymes
  • Encourage your child to “read” or tell a story to his or her teddy bear
  • Tell real life stories from when you were little
  • Encourage your toddler to talk about what he or she is doing
  • Put labels on objects around the house--the chair, the bed, etc.
  • Recite nursery rhymes together at nap time or while driving
  • Get ABC magnets or ABC books and find the letters of the toddler’s name
  • Set up a book shelf or book bin

Children coloring in class


  • Read together every day; let your Preschooler hold the book and turn pages
  • As you read, ask questions that don’t have a yes or no answer
  • Go to the library for Storytime and let your child pick out some books to take home
  • Read favorite books over and over
  • Take turns pointing out the first word on a page or line of a familiar book
  • Have your child dictate an e-mail or letter and send or mail it
  • Write down a story your child tells to you and display it on the refrigerator
  • Keep paper, crayons, and markers available
  • Help your child tell a story using props and dramatic voices
  • Play word games together
  1. “I See Something”
    “I see something that starts with the same sound as (child’s name). Can you find it?”
  2. “Same Sounds”
    Make up silly sentences with words that begin with the same sound. “Jack and Jill jumped and jiggled with Joe.”
  3. “Fill in the Rhyme”
    “I know a cat that sat on a ______
    and wore a ______
    and chased a____.”
  4. Match magnetic letters with those in Chicka Chicka Boom Boom or other alphabet books
  • Name the many things you see at a playground or the grocery store
  • Read cereal boxes, menus, and street signs as you go through your day
  • Talk about events of the day during bath time
  • Make a snack together and talk about how to do it
  • Play pretend games together where your child becomes a doctor, truck driver, or librarian
  • Make up new verses of familiar songs and rhymes like “Old MacDonald” or “Down by the Bay”
  • Set up a library shelf in your child’s room

Talking, Singing, Reading, Writing, Playing

Every Child Ready to Read® @ your library®, PLA and ALSC logos are registered trademarks of the American Library Association and are used with permission.