Early Learning Skills

Talk, Sing, Read, Write, Play

Talking, singing, reading, writing and playing are five easy ways to help your child develop literacy skills. They create building blocks for your child to become a successful early learner. Friday Memorial Library received a grant to create Early Literacy Backpacks from the Institute of Museum and Library Services. These backpacks are a tool to help parents with young children acquire skills they need to read. Each backpack is designed to help caregivers reinforce pre-reading skills with children in an interactive way that is fun!

Request a Backpack

For more information, read the following tips or visit Friday Memorial Library's Children's Department. Find out all we have to offer in our collection and classes. All our children's classes are based on talk, sing, read, write and play to help develop early literacy skills. 

Green circleTalk

Have two-way conversations with your children - children learn language by listening.

Respond to what they say and add words to stretch their vocabulary.

Talk while you prepare meals, do chores, get ready for bed, and while in the car.

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Sing the alphabet song so the child learns the letters.

Sing nursery rhymes so children hear the different sounds in words.

Clap along to the rhythm so children hear the syllables.



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Reading together increases vocabulary and is the most important way to help your children get ready to read.

Make reading interactive. Look at the cover and try to guess what the book is about before you begin. Ask the child questions as you read and listen to the answers.

Use books to teach new words. As you read, talk about what these words mean.


yellow circleWrite 

Encourage scribbling by providing many opportunities to write and draw. Keep crayons and paper on a table where children can return again and again.

Get magnetic letters for the refrigerator or make letters from cardboard for the children to play with.

Have them sign their drawings to develop hand-eye coordination and build up their writing muscles.


orange circlePlay

Play helps children think symbolically so give them plenty of unstructured playtimes.

Encourage dramatic play with puppets or stuffed animals. Making up stories this way develops narrative skills so children understand that stories have a beginning, middle, and end.

Have the child tell you a story based on the pictures in a book. This develops vocabulary.


Get out more tips at Growing Wisconsin Readers.