4 Ways to develop preschool literacy

Developing literacy is a vital part of every child’s development and there is a strong correlation between literacy skills and school achievement. All the domains of development, physical, cognitive, social-emotional language and literacy are connected and interdependent.


Did you know?

Children who have limited language and literacy skills are more likely to have difficulty when learning to read.

There are 4 components necessary to develop preschool literacy. All four relate to reading instruction and have a direct impact on success in reading.

  • print awareness

  • developing a strong vocabulary

  • knowledge of letters

  • knowledge of sounds of letters


Literacy is the foundation for doing well at school, socializing with others, problem-solving, making decisions, becoming independent, managing money and working.


Everyday activities like singing, reading, telling stories, writing and drawing all help to develop literacy skills.


Babies and toddlers like nursery thymes and sound games. They enjoy books with lots of rhyme, rhythm and repetition.


The great news is that everyday activities like family meals, bath time or shopping, are all fun opportunities for literacy development.



You don’t need a lot of time for literacy activities – five minutes a few times a day is often enough!


The key is to use different times and opportunities to help your child learn. It can be as simple as making up a story about your child and the activity you are doing together.


Anne Stewart is a gifted storyteller from Australia. Watch how she engages the children in the story and try utilizing these skills at home when you are reading books to your children.


Need more ideas? Try these easy activities!

  • Playing with magnetic letters – match letters on title of books, find the letter that is in your name,

  • Wordless books – have the child describe the pictures and make up the story – there are no wrong answers!

  • Play rhyming games – the rhymes don’t have to be real words

  • Start a journal where the child draws pictures and describes activities or feelings .

  • Introduce syllables by jumping for each syllable heard: cat - 1 jump; mama - 2 jumps; February - 4 jumps

  • Make a tray of salt and have the child trace letters in the salt.

  • And most importantly, and easiest of all, talk about what the child is doing throughout the day. Do not use baby language, but rather words that will expand his vocabulary.

  • Read, read, read! Young children enjoy rhyming books and books with silly characters. Here are three great ones to get started.


Read aloud stories that improve literacy