Preschool Ready: 6 Early Literacy Skills

Little ones grow so fast and before you know it you’re getting ready to send your young one off to preschool. This year we’ll be touching on various skills, resources and activities you can do with your little one(s) to get them ready for preschool!

First up are the 6 early literacies libraries (like us!) focus on to help your little one(s) get ready for preschool. These literacies were established by the program Every Child Ready to Read®, a program that libraries use to help educate parents and caregivers about early literacy for their little ones. These early literacy skills are easy to integrate into your every day and are great to start with at any age!

1. Print Motivation

Print Motivation focuses on the interest and enjoyment of books. A great way to integrate this early literacy skill is to make reading sessions or experiences around books positive and enjoyable – like allowing your little one to pick out the book they want to ready that day.

2. Print Awareness

Print Awareness is your little one noticing printed words in books, knowing how to hold a book and turn pages, and knowing how to follow the words on a page (such as that we read left to right in the English language). A great way to integrate this is just to model holding a book or pointing at the words on the page as you read the book to your little one(s).

3. Letter Knowledge

Letter Knowledge is your little one’s ability to recognizes letters and know their names and sounds. A great way to start integrating this skill is to get your little ones to recognize shapes first and then move on to recognizing letters on toys or in books or in their everyday environment. Singing the “ABCs” while pointing to printed letters would also help build up this skill.

4. Phonological Awareness

Phonological Awareness is your little one’s ability to be able to hear and play with the smaller sounds in words. A great way to integrate this skill is to sing songs and rhymes to or with your little one or to play music. Another way would be to use sound words – like the sounds animals make – in your conversations about different topics or during playtime.

5. Vocabulary

Vocabulary is your little one’s ability to know the names of things. A great way to integrate this skill into your everyday is to make sure you use the name of things when playing, going for walks or doing errands. You can even turn it into a game! Repetition helps and so does having the visuals when pointing out the names of things.

6. Narrative Skills

Narrative skills include your little one’s ability to describe things and events as well as tell stories. A great way to integrate this skill is to ask your little one what they did to today or ask them to retell a story, routine or pattern which will help them understand a sequence of events.

You can learn more about the 6 Early Literacy Skills and more ways you can integrate them into your little one’s everyday in this brochure from ALA here.