Singing with the Babies

Early Years (0-4)

Early Years (0 - 4)

Read! Talk! Sing! Write! Play!

These early literacy principles are fun ways you can learn and discover literacy with your little one at the library. Attend a program, check out a board book, a story box or practice some of our favourite songs and rhymes at home.

Talk Read Sing Write Play

Listen to the Early Years Playlist

Early Years FAQs

Early literacy and emergent language

Children develop the skills they need to communicate very early and at their own pace. They also acquire the skills to read years before they start school. As a parent or caregiver, you are your child's first and best teacher. We can help you get started!

We provide this support through all our parent-child programming which features a playful approach to language development by sharing rhymes, songs and stories designed to help families create a literacy-rich home environment. Your children can make new friends and you can connect with other parents and caregivers in your community.

  • Talk - Your baby hears the sounds of the languages you speak, learning what words mean as you point to and label things. Babies will start to babble and their babble uses the sounds they have heard from you.
  • Sing - Singing slows down language and helps children hear the smaller sounds in words. Singing while you do daily activities can help with learning, e.g. "one sock, two socks ...", it is entertaining and soothing. Your baby loves to hear you. Here are some of the songs and rhymes we use in our early years programs.
  • Read - Shared reading is the single most important activity that you can to do help children get ready to read, even from birth! Give your child a board book for their busy hands while you read from another.
  • Write - Reading and writing go together. Writing goes through stages from light markings to letter like forms, to drawing letters and to forming them. Writing helps children understand that print has meaning.
  • Play - Play, in addition to being fun, helps children to realize connections. One item represents another—a block might represent a telephone. This kind of symbolic or connective thinking is the same kind of thinking that is used for reading. Pictures and letters represent real things.

Early years programs

Our early years programs are offered to families with children and babies ages 0 to 4 years. At these programs we encourage parents and caregivers to participate, and learn the songs and rhymes to practice at home.


  • Join us at Singing with the Babies to learn songs, tummy tickles, bounces, rhymes, and lullabies to soothe and entertain while encouraging early language development.
  • At Parent Infant Drop-In there is an opportunity to meet other new parents and listen to guest speakers on a range of topics.


  • When your child is walking, join us for Rhyme and Song (outside in the summer as Tots and Tadpoles) and have fun with your active little ones with songs, rhymes, and felt stories.


  • Join in the fun, listening, learning, singing, and playing simple instruments at Words and Music.
  • Enjoy active songs, rhymes, stories, and felts with your child at Preschool Storytime.
  • Join your family and enjoy playing board games or crafting or Family Together Time.

All library programs are offered free of charge.

Please ensure a caregiver accompanies young children attending any of these programs. All programs are held in The Burrow, our children's programming room.