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.

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.

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