Reading Lists:

If you can, try working music into everyday activities — picking up toys, setting the table or taking a bath. Make up songs that include children's names. “This is the way Sam puts on his coat, puts on his coat, puts on his coat...” Every time you read, talk, sing or rhyme with a child you are providing the early language experiences that lead to reading.

From the moment they are born, babies are preparing for when they will first hold a crayon, pencil, or pen. Doing songs with hand motions and even just squeezing on their favorite adult's finger help to strengthen the tiny muscles for writing one day.

Play helps children develop social-emotional skills, language and problem-solving skills. When children play, they learn skills that help them get ready to read and get ready for school.

Reading with your busy toddler while she orbits the room is fine—she is still listening! Encourage your toddler by having fun with the sounds in silly words, like “fuzzy-wuzzy.” Toddlers learn new words easily every day, so choose books that follow her interests and have uncommon words. And since repetition helps build brain connections, it’s good to read her favorites again and again.