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Talk, Sing, Read, Write, Play: Five Ways to Help Your Children Learn

Early learning is interactive: talking, singing, reading, writing and playing with your children builds the skills they need to learn to read.

Miss Annie

Reading together prepares your child to be an independent reader by helping them to develop a rich and varied vocabulary. One of the things we love about Two Girls Want a Puppy is the authors’ use of advanced vocabulary.

Reading together is a cozy, joyful, relaxing time. You know your child’s moods and can gage when your child is receptive to learning new words. Stopping to explain every new word is not recommended or necessary. Instead, pause to explain an unfamiliar word when you feel the time is right.

Free and fun early literacy storytimes are available at all 18 of our neighborhood libraries.

Fiona Fairy

This segment shows two important early literacy practices: writing and playing.

Making simple crafts together is a fun way to build your child’s writing skills. Coloring, pasting and cutting with safety scissors builds hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills that will prepare your child for kindergarten.

After you’ve made your dog puppets, play with them together. Children learn about the world through play, and play allows children to practice what they’ve learned.

General Fiction

Did you notice that General Fiction sings a different version of the traditional children’s song “Bingo?” We like to make up new versions of familiar songs—it’s a fun way to play with language.

Music is an important part of storytimes at Salt Lake County Library. In addition to storytimes, your library also has children’s CDs available for check out. Listen to the CDs in the car and at home, and sing the songs with your children. Each note helps your child gain the skills they need to speak and to read.

Little Miss Puppet

Singing and reciting nursery rhymes together builds pre-reading skills—and it’s fun!

Rhymes and songs slow down language so children hear the individual sounds that make up words (we call these sounds “phonemes”). Understanding that words are built from individual sounds is an important foundation for reading.

Did you notice how certain sounds are repeated? As you and your child listen to Stephanie recite “The Doghouse That Jack Built,” notice how the cow has a “crumpled horn;” the maiden is “all forlorn;” and the farmer is “tattered and torn.” This simple repetition builds awareness of the individual sounds from which all words are formed.

Your neighborhood Salt Lake County Library has collections of children’s poetry, folk tales, and nursery rhymes for you and your child to enjoy reading together.