Early Literacy: Kids

It's never too early or too late to start sharing rhymes, songs, and books with your child! Visit your local library and talk with the children's librarian for more information.

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Yoga at Park Branch

Yoga Storytime at Park Branch

Baby Rhyme Time at Mission Branch

Baby Rhyme Time at Mission Branch

Storytime happiness

Storytime happiness

Baby Rhyme and Playtime at Sunset Branch

Baby Rhyme and Playtime at Sunset Branch

Baby Rhyme time at Sunset

Baby Rhyme Time at Sunset

Dad and Tot at storytime

Dads love storytimes, too!

Early Reader at Sunset

Early reader at Sunset Branch

Family at Parkside Branch with instruments

Families enjoy music together

Letter play

Letter play at Park Branch

New parents

New parents love storytimes!

Early Literacy: Babies

Exploring books is one of the first steps to pre-reading.

Always have books around for your baby to explore.

Talk with your baby from the day he is born.

You are your baby’s first and best toy.

It’s never too early or too late to start sharing rhymes, songs, and books with your baby!

Babies bond with you when you share stories, songs, and rhymes together. These positive interactions stimulate your baby’s brain development by laying the foundation for future language, learning, and reading.

Play Let your baby explore books. Most babies discover books by playing with them and putting them in their mouths. A book is often a baby’s first toy.

Talk Talk to your baby about what you’re doing as you’re doing it. Respond to her expressions, movements, and sounds. This is how she communicates with you.

Sing Your baby loves the sound of your voice. Share songs and rhymes in the car, in the tub, on the bus, anywhere and everywhere.

ReadEnjoy a quiet time sharing a board book or simple picture book with your baby. Make book sharing a part of the daily routine.

Research shows that if you read, talk, sing, and share rhymes with your baby daily, he will be better prepared for kindergarten and reading.

It’s never too early or too late to start sharing books, rhymes, and songs with your baby.

Early Literacy: Toddlers

Toddlers love to talk and play. Important language skills develop by age three. Use this window of opportunity by encouraging your toddler’s word skills through talking, singing, reciting rhymes, playing games, sharing books, and listening to music together.

Play Let your child “read” a book, which might mean playing with it or showing it to her toys. Exploring books is one of the first steps to pre-reading.

Talk While getting him ready for bed, talk about all the things he did during his day, who he saw, and what he will do tomorrow.

SingTurn daily tasks into meaningful experiences with songs and rhymes. Try singing “The Wheels on the Bus” with your child while waiting for Muni.

Read When reading with your child, ask her questions about the story and wait for her to respond. Nurture her interest in books by reading her favorites again and again.

Research shows that if you surround your toddler with enjoyable experiences with books and language, he will be better prepared for kindergarten and reading.

It’s never too early or too late to start sharing books, rhymes, and songs with your toddler.

Early Literacy: Preschoolers

Preschoolers talk more than ever. Your child’s communication skills grow more complex every day. Playing, talking, singing, and reading are fun, effective ways to expand vocabulary and increase language skills.

Play Act out stories together: stories from his imagination, stories from your childhood, stories from books. Let your child be the Director and the Star.

Talk Your child enjoys talking, the sillier the better! Let her invent words and jokes. Encourage this wordplay by inventing some new words yourself. Everyone has fun in a good conversation.

Sing Sing familiar songs with your child. Replace key words with rhyming ones - Row, Row, Row Your Boat becomes Row, Row, Row Your Goat. Make up movements to go with the new words.

Read Let your child “read” a favorite book to you by retelling the story in his own words. He may even have it memorized word for word.

Research shows that if you tell stories, talk about words, and sing songs and rhymes with your preschooler, she will be better prepared for kindergarten and reading.

It’s never too early or too late to start sharing books, rhymes, and songs with your preschooler.

Early Literacy: Parents and Caregivers

Dear Parents and Caregivers,

Play, talk, sing, read togetherWith simple and positive interactions surrounding books, songs, rhymes, and conversation, you nurture your child’s interest in learning, language, and life. You are essential to your child’s social and emotional readiness for kindergarten and reading. It’s never too early or too late to start!

The library is your best resource to support you as your child’s first and most important teacher. It is here that you will find an abundance of picture stories, educational resources, storytimes, and the expertise of your local children’s librarian. The library can serve as your child’s first classroom.

Using the Library

  • Get free library cards for you and your child.

  • Check out books, music, and more to enjoy at home.

  • Attend free storytimes.

  • Find out where the board books and picture stories are.

  • Play and explore the “Play To Learn” areas.

  • Visit your library often!

Especially For Early Childhood Educators

  • Apply for a Teacher Card
    For more information contact: Maricela Leon-Barrera, Early Learning Coordinator, maricela.leonbarrera@sfpl.org

  • Ask the children’s librarian for suggested materials to support your curriculum.

  • Use the online library catalog to reserve books and other materials.

  • Check out books, music, and more for your center.

  • Talk to the children’s librarian about programs and services for your group.

  • Invite the children’s librarian to visit your center for storytime, a family literacy event, or a parent meeting.