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Toddler Literacy Activities

“The single most significant factor influencing a child’s early educational success is an introduction to books and being read to at home prior to beginning school.” National Commission on Reading, 1985 

Wow! That fact got me thinking about my own childhood and activities I am doing with my daughter. Since I was a little girl, I have always loved to read. I can thank my parents for helping instill that love of literacy when I was growing up.

Now, I’m a reading teacher and a mom who wants to incorporate literacy into her toddler’s life. I wanted to share some quick tips and activities on ways you can incorporate literacy into your toddler’s life.

Toddler Literacy Activities

Story Hour

We are fortunate to have great libraries around the Cedar Rapids, Marion, and Hiawatha areas. Many of them have story times for toddlers that are geared toward short attention spans that include songs and movement. Can’t make it a story hour during the day? Taking your child to the library can be a great way for them to explore new books and help them understand how we treat books that are checked out from the library.

Read, Read, Read!

As parents you already know how important it is to read with your child. Snuggling up with a good book is a great way to incorporate literacy into your children’s lives. If you are like me, you have read the same book over and over and over again. It can get a little old.

Here are some ways to mix it up and make it fun for both of you:

  • Skype or FaceTime with a friend or relative and have them read to your child. It’s good for your child to hear other models of reading and be shown that it’s an important part of everyone’s lives.
  • Leave off the ends of the sentence.  Have your child fill in the rest. They will love assisting you read them their favorite book!
  • Ask questions about the story. You can ask your toddler what they think will happen next or how they think the characters feel. This is a great step in building comprehension skills by getting your child to connect with the text.

Toddler Literacy Activities

Loving Letters

Believe it or not, you can start introducing letters to your toddler before they start preschool! Looking at letters in their name is a great place to start! This doesn’t have to be running flash cards with them to have them start to pick them up. Any interaction with letters and sounds is a plus!

Have a…

  • Budding Artist? Use these mats to create letters out of Play Doh or use dot markers to outline letters in their names.
  • Toddler into technology? The video “Letter Factory” by LeapFrog is great at introducing letter names and sounds to toddlers.
  • Precious Puzzler? Melissa and Doug have a great wooden puzzle with capital letters and pictures of matching sounds.

Toddler Literacy Activities

By doing some of these literacy activities with your toddler, you are setting them up for success when they transition to school. Remember to have fun while incorporating literacy into your toddler’s life and they’ll develop a love of all things literacy as well!

How do you incorporate literacy into your toddler’s day?


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