Literacy Activities for Toddlers

The bus pulls in front of the house and the kids are home for the day. How can that be? I am still in my pajamas sipping coffee?

Oh, yeah. Pinterest happened.

I love Pinterest for a lot of reasons but it is an invaluable resource for parents and encouraging literacy skills. Skip the perfect party pictures and the snacks too beautiful to eat. There is a smorgasbord of easy to do, no frills activities for the average parent to create for their child. You don’t have to be Picasso or Van Gogh to recreate the pins.

Follow my Pinterest Board Literacy Activities Toddlers to find great ways to encourage gross motor skills, fine motor skills, letter awareness, phonological awareness, books, and more.

Some of my favorites use objects we have in our homes. No fancy tools needed and keeping it basic is the best way to go. None of this should feel overwhelming, so if it starts to feel that way pare it down! Learning should be fun for both you and your child.

The best teachers know where to look for information instead of recreating the wheel. Find what works for you and your family and enjoy!

Share in the comments section your favorite games and activities to share with your kids that help them learn while having fun.

Book Review: Wet by Carey Sookocheff

Ages: Toddler-Early Preschool

Wet. Carey Sookocheff, Godwin Books: New York, 2017.

(I am an Amazon Affiliate. If you click on a picture it takes you to Amazon, where if you make a purchase I receive a percentage of the sale)

About this Book

A book all about the different ways we can feel wet. Either a day at the pool, rain, our goldfish, mopping floors, this book is a child-like exploration of the world of water.

Vocabulary

The text in this book is very simple but there are plenty of opportunities to build vocabulary through the pictures. The author deepened the text on the page through the contextual pictures. Take a picture tour of the book before you begin reading. Look at the pages and point out different objects and name them. For example on the first page the boy is at a pool. Talk about the pool deck, the bench, the tile on the walls and the life preserver etc. Talking about the pictures in the book is as helpful as reading the text when we teach our children new words.

Phonological Awareness

Although this isn’t a rhyming or lyrical book, there are ways to help play with the sounds of the words so a child can hear the different syllables. For example in the line:

Sometimes I get wet

Very Slowly

Try drawing out the syllables for Ve rrryy Sloowwlly. Not only do you demonstrate the meaning through how you say it, reading at different speeds helps liven up a book.

Also there are a lot of great songs that would be a great supplement to the story.

Letter Knowledge and Narrative Skills

On each page help your child match the main idea of the picture with the text. For example as the boy goes down the slide. Point out the word slide. Talk about the letters you see that make up the word and then point out the slide. This also helps build reading comprehension by connecting the words on the page with the pictures that take the story a little further.

Print Awareness

Take time to show the different parts of the book. Using your finger highlight the title. How many letters are in the title? Who do you think the boy on the cover is hiding from? Show the end pages and the title page and as you flip through the pages ask questions about what you see. Have your child make predictions about what the book is about and what might happen.

Print Motivation

Many picture books have a story question and answer but this book explores a topic that your child is naturally curious about. Rain, pools, fish, cleaning all of these are connected through water! Your child’s natural curiosity will drive the interest in the book and help them think about a topic, like water, differently.

Experience the Book

Make a list of all the different ways a person can get wet. Write down what your child says in a list. This will not only build letter knowledge but also sequencing.

Take a favorite action figure that can get wet and a glass of water. Submerge the figure different ways like the boy in the book. How do you put the toy in water quickly or slowly. Is there an in between speed? Have fun with water play either in a bath or filling up the kitchen sink with water and some dish soap and let your child explore water with measuring cups, spoons, bowls, cups, funnels and whatever else you can find!

More Books about Exploration

Is anyone more curious than Curious George?

 

Happy Reading!

May Toddler Reading List

 

6prereadingskills

Board Books are perfect for toddlers. With heavy pages, the children can flip through the book independently. The text is simple, rhyming and full of new vocabulary words. The pictures are engaging and the books are the perfect size to take with you anywhere you go.

Look for books that:

  • Have fun rhymes
  • Phrases easy to repeat
  • Real faces and animals
  • Shapes and Numbers
  • Feelings

Below is a PDF of board books toddlers love. Print it out and take it with you to the library or bookstore!

Toddler Take Me to the Library Reading List

Book Review: My First Touch and Feel Seasons by Xavier Deneux

seasons-book

  • Board Book
  • Ages: 0-3
  • My First Touch and Feel Seasons, Deneux. Twirl/Tourbillon, 2016.

WHAT I LOVE ABOUT THIS BOOK

  • Bright Colors
  • Simple Illustrations
  • Unique and Rich Vocabulary
  • Tactile Learning
  • Sparks Conversation
  • Builds Reading Comprehension

Infants and toddlers explore the world through touch. They love to put toys, books and anything they find on the ground into their mouths. It is how they figure out what objects are and how the world works. This is the perfect age to explore reading with touch and feel books. My First Touch and Feel Seasons book has bright, simple illustrations and labels all the pictures on the page. It is a great book for building vocabulary, not only through the unique words present, but also through the textures on the page. It is proof that simple books can have big impacts on our children. Babies and toddlers will love the simplicity of the book. It is perfect for a waiting room or in the car. Board books make it is for little fingers to hold and turn pages and with the sturdy construction it can double as a teething ring.

It is proof that simple books can have big impacts on our children

This book will build your child’s words about seasons, but also much much more. You can talk about the textures on the page. How does water feel? Is sand scratchy or smooth? Is the sun hot or cold? For infants, of course they won’t answer! But the back and forth, ask a question and pause for an answer, helps them understand how conversations work. You might even find that your baby will babble back an answer. As language develops they will be able to answer simple questions with simple answers. But by starting the habit at birth will help build towards better reading comprehension in the future.

There are also a lot of colors to explore on the page, patterns and shapes. And of course each season has its animals and clothing and foods. This is a great book in building readers but will also keep young learners engaged and participating.

HOW TO USE THIS BOOK:

It can be uncomfortable to read a book that doesn’t have a story. At this age, infants and toddlers are interested in anything you show them. As soon as they are done he will let you know by turning his head, if he is a baby, or finding his favorite toy, if he is a toddler. Point out what you see and don’t worry if the child wants to skip pages. Let them lead and relax.

This book can be read lots of different ways. Focus on textures with one reading or the objects on the page in another. You can also do a read through of just colors. Books don’t always have to be read the same way.

Make up a story about what happens during each of the seasons. Where is the child and what is he doing? What do you think will happen next. Older kids can help you with the story and, for infants, they just want to hear the sound of your voice.

Infants and Toddlers love to explore, so take them out of the house and explore whatever season you are in. Take a walk or play in a yard or go to the park. No matter where you end up talk about what you see. Point out the leaves, or if there are no leaves, say why. Talk about the animals or insects, the temperature, whether it is windy or hot or cold or whatever else you see and feel around you. Mention the Touch and Feel book and relate your experiences outside with what you read inside.

WHAT TO READ NEXT

 

Here are just a few of the many books in Deneux’s My first touch and feel series.

(I am an Amazon affiliate. Clicking on the picture will take you to Amazon where if you make any purchases I will receive a portion of the sale.)

 

What are your favorite touch and feel books? Comment on the post and share ideas!

 

Happy Reading!

Top Books to Read with Toddlers this Summer

Reading 20 minutes a day is critical. Especially during the toddler years. It may be hard to get a toddler to sit still for a full 20 minutes, so break up reading throughout the day. Remember even if they are doing something else they are still listening. So grab a book and read while they play or while you wait at an appointment or for a break at the park.

Books should only have a few lines per page. Even basic board books are a great read for this age. Choose short rhyming stories about familiar routines. Books about shapes, counting and feelings will help build basic vocabulary and help your child identify the world around him. Find books with bright simple pictures. Talk about the books you read to help draw the connections in the book.

Toddlers love to learn and you are the perfect teacher!

TOP 8 BOOKS TO READ WITH TODDLERS TODAY:

  1. I Ain’t Gonna Paint No More by Karen Beaumont, Harcourt, Inc., 2005. Rhyming, colors, singing this book has it all. The text can be read or sung to the tune of (It ain’t gonna rain no more, no more.) A mother warns her son to stop painting and he wants to listen but he just can’t help painting. EVERYTHING! The book builds vocabulary, increases phonological awareness and  a book kids will return to time and time again.
  2. Move Over, Rover. Karen Beaumont, Harcourt, Inc., 2006. Another picture book win for author Karen Beaumont. Great pictures, unique words, fun rhymes, and a strong narrative make this a great book for toddlers. Find out what happens when a dog has to share his doghouse with animals escaping the rain. Until a very unwelcome guest arrives.
  3. One Hot Summer Day. Nina Crews. Greenwillow Books, 1995. (DIVERSE BOOK) Crews is a master of photography and text. In this book a young girl finds a fun time despite the summer heat. The familiar routine of summer play and the basic text will attract the youngest readers. It builds vocabulary, narrative skills, and will motivate readers to come back to the book again and again.
  4. Hickory Dickory Dock. Keith Baker. Harcourt, Inc. 2007. Familiar nursery rhymes help build phonological awareness. The repetition of sounds and the ability to sing along with the book make this a great choice for young listeners. They will learn counting and time, hear unique words, and be able to participate fully in the story.
  5. Counting Kisses. Karen Katz. Margaret K McElderry Books. 2001. Katz is known for her gentle illustrations, showing love between parents and children all while introducing vocabulary, counting, shapes, and everyday routines. Counting Kisses is a simple story of a child waking and a family sharing kisses throughout the day. Letter awareness and vocabulary are built with each reading.
  6. The Very Busy Spider. Eric Carle. Philomel Books, 1984. Carle’s books are classics. This story is about a spider who works hard all day while ignoring the pleas of the other animals on the farm to come and play. Children will learn animal names and sounds through this book. The illustrations, which Carle is known for, are simple, bright and inviting.
  7. Ten, Nine Eight. Molly Bang. Greenwillow Books, 1983. (DIVERSE BOOK) This Caldecott Honor book helps all children get ready for bed by counting its way through evening routines. Letter Awareness, Vocabulary and Print Motivation are strong in this goodnight story.
  8. Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What do you Hear? Bill Martin Jr. Eric Carle. Henry Holt and Company, 1991. Martin and Carle team up again in this book describing the sounds of different animals they will find at the zoo. Using Carle’s signature bright simple illustrations and Martin’s simple lyrical text. This is a book you will read again and again. It builds vocabulary, phonological awareness, and narrative skills.

Find the books at Amazon:

(I am an amazon affiliate. I don’t get paid to review books. The opinions are mine and mine alone. If you click on a picture and make a purchase from amazon I do receive a portion of the sale.)

Book Review: I Got the Rhythm by Connie Schofield-Morrison

Ages Toddler-3

A girl explores the sounds of her neighborhood while she walks with her mother. She discovers beautiful rhythms in everything and everyone she meets. With fun illustrations, a diverse cast of characters and engaging text this is a book that all children will relate to and love.

This is a perfect book to build VOCABULARY. Body parts are named, sounds are described and unique words layer the text. Children will experience the parts of sounds, called PHONOLOGICAL AWARENESS through the onomatopoeia used in the book as well as the gentle rhymes in the story. The diverse cast of characters participating in the every day routine of taking a walk in the neighborhood will draw all readers into the story encouraging PRINT MOTIVATION.

Literacy Skills Highlighted:

skills chart 2

Questions to ask:

  1. Look at the cover of the book. Ask your child what she thinks the story is about.
  2. Flip to the back page. Ask her how she thinks the story will end.
  3. Before reading the story flip through the pictures and ask what is happening on the page.
  4. Where do you think the mother and daughter are going?

Take it a step further:

  1. Have your child find their own rhythm. Break out the pots and pans, oatmeal container, plastic tubs or whatever you have that makes noise! Use utensils, your hands and help your child discover the rhythms of your house. Have them mimic your beat or create their own sounds.
  2. The book focuses on parts of the body and what they do. Explore the senses.
    1. Taste. Mix together sweet(honey), sour (lemon), bitter (tonic) and salty water. Have the child taste the different waters.
    2. Smell. Find different smells around the house. You can use dishsoap, lotion, shampoos, spices etc. Make sure they are distinguishable smells. Guide your child through each smell and help her identify whether the smell is strong, light, flowery, sharp etc.
    3. Texture. Use fabrics, blocks, sandpaper, towels, etc. Help the child explore the feeling of each different material and name how it feels. Is it rough or smooth? Soft or hard? Fluffy or thin?
    4. Sound. We used pots and pans above but explore other sounds. Music, dry beans or rice in a tube. Make maracas out or old medicine bottles or spice jars. Go on a walk like the girl in the book and name the sounds you hear together.
    5. Sight. Patterns are all around us. Find wrapping paper or scrapbook paper and notice the different patterns. Highlight the colors and shapes he finds.
  3. Try these Montessori based materials.


Montessori sensorial – Nuts and Bolts

 


NEW Montessori Sensorial Material – Color Tablets Box 3 by PinkMontessori

NEW Montessori Sensorial Material – Rough and Smooth Boards by PinkMontessori