What is early literacy?
Literacy begins at birth. Early literacy skills are the skills a child needs to acquire before he or she can learn to read or write. They include vocabulary, print motivation, print awareness, narrative skills, letter knowledge, and phonological awareness. They are developed through exposure to language during such activities as talking, singing, and playing. Below, you will find a list of online resources, websites, and apps that aim to help your child get ready to read.
Early Literacy Resources
for Parents and Educators
Saroj Ghoting, Early Childhood Literacy Consultant
Saroj Ghoting shares her tips and resources for parents and educators.
The Fred Rogers Center Early Learning Environment (Ele) is an innovative online space where early educators, families, and others who care for young children can come together in a safe environment to find and share digital resources that support early learning and development in children from birth to age 5.
Center for Early Literacy Learning
The Children’s Reading Foundation
Knox County and Roane County chapters.
Born to Read
Born to Read, It’s Never Too Early to Start! is aimed at providing early literacy resources to library staff as they help expectant and new parents to become aware that reading to a baby from birth is critical to every baby’s growth and well-being.
The Hanen Centre
From their website: “Our mission is to provide parents, caregivers, early childhood educators and speech-language pathologists with the knowledge and training they need to help all preschool children develop the best possible language, social and literacy skills, including those children with or at risk of language delays and those with developmental challenges such as Autism Spectrum Disorder, including Asperger Syndrome.”
From The Children’s Book Review: 20 Sites to Improve Your Child’s Literacy
- National Children’s Literacy Website – This non-profit organization is dedicated to improving and promoting children’s literacy in child care and home settings. Helpful materials on the National Children’s Literacy Website include general literacy tips, advice on teaching children to read, educational activities, story-time tips, and links to additional resources.
- Literacy Zone – Created by Woodlands Junior School in the UK, Literacy Zone offers online literacy games and activities to help children improve spelling, grammar, punctuation, and writing skills.
- StoryPlace – StoryPlace is a digital library created specifically for children. Library materials include free online books, online activities, take-home activities, and reading lists for preschool and elementary students.
- Starfall – Starfall relies on phonics to help children learn how to read. The site offers movies, interactive games, and engaging activities for readers in pre-k to second grade.
- The Baldwin Online Children’s Project – The Baldwin Project makes classic books freely available to children online. The project publishes books that are in the public domain (books published before 1923). Books are sorted by author, titles, genre, and subgenre.
- International Children’s Digital Library – This online library hosts nearly 5,000 high-quality digital books in more than 50 different languages. Books contain both text and illustrations and can be discussed in a community forum.
- Storynory – This site publishes a new audio story each week. Storynory offers both classic stories and original tales that have been adapted from stories around the world.
- Kiddie Records – Kiddie Records publishes recordings of children’s records that were made between the mid forties through the early fifties. Recordings include classic stories like Horton Hatches the Egg and Casey at the Bat. All of the recordings can be downloaded or played for free online.
- DogEared – Dog Eared is a National Geographic book blog written by kids for kids. The blog offers reviews, book recommendations, and a book of the month feature.
- RIF Reading Planet – Operated by the nation’s oldest and largest nonprofit children’s literacy organization, the RIF Reading Planet provides book reviews and recommendations, an author showcase, reading activities, teaching strategies, and much more.
- Waking Brain Cells– Operated by the director of the Menasha Public Library in Wisconsin, this blog offers book reviews and recommendations for children and young adults. New reviews are posted each week.
- Grammar Girl – Grammar Girl Mignon Fogarty provides a free podcast that covers common grammar mistakes and issues. Each podcast episode lasts only a few minutes and provides easy-to-understand grammar advice and tips.
- The Story Kitchen – Created by Bruce Van Patter, The Story Kitchen offers dozens of story starters to help inspire young writers. Each story beginning consists of a few paragraphs with a note at the end that encourages site visitors to finish the story.
- Writing with Writers – Writing with Writers is a scholastic project that allows kids to work with authors and illustrators in special workshops designed to improve writing and literacy skills. The project also provides featured writing activities and step-by-step writing guides.
- ClassMarker – ClassMarker makes it easy to test your child’s reading comprehension or vocabulary. The site allows you to make free online quizzes with multiple choice, true false, short answer, and fill in the blank questions.
- Flashcard Maker – Scholastic’s Homework Hub Flashcard Maker is a good tool for children who need to learn sight words. They can test themselves online or print the flashcards to practice off the computer.
- FreeRice – This UN World Food Program site offers a great vocabulary-building trivia game for students at any level. Every time a question is answered correctly, FreeRice donates ten grains of rice to hungry people.
- Shelfari – Created specifically for book lovers, this social media site makes it easy for kids to track the books they have read and make a list of books they would like to read. Shelfari is also a good place to discover new books.
Websites for Children
Great Websites for Kids
Great Websites for Kids is a compilation of exemplary websites geared to children from birth to age 14. Suggested sites are evaluated by the Great Websites for Kids Committee using established selection criteria. Newly redesigned and interactive.
World Book Classroom: Early World of Learning
This section of the World Book Online has a lot of great features: games, printable activities, stories, sing-alongs, fingerplays, and a simplified encyclopedia. The best part is: the words on the screen are highlighted as they are read aloud to you.
ipl2 for Kids
The Internet Public Library provides an organized list of websites for children, as well as additional online resources for parents and teachers.
Finding Books, Songs, and Apps for Children
Minnesota State University Best Read Aloud Picture Books
James Patterson’s Read Kiddo Read
Kids’ Music Town
Free Songs for Kids
Charles County (MD) Public Library: Songs for Tots
Best Kids Apps
Check out our reading guides, made specifically for the Clinton Public Library.
View the handout from our Every Child Ready to Read workshop.