How to Create a Literate Home: Young Child and Kindergartner

Boy with magnetic letters

The “literate home” for this age child only needs a few inexpensive materials, but parent involvement is key. Your young child or kindergartner continues to build her language base (understanding and using language) in preparation for learning to read, so she still benefits from lots of talk with adults that helps her learn new words. Young children and kindergartners are beginning to figure out how the written word works, and they are starting to use reading and writing in their daily lives. At this age, having a wide variety of books and writing materials available is crucial.

What You Need

  • Children’s Books
    For young children, nursery rhymes, ABC books, informational books and storybooks are most appropriate. Kindergartners will enjoy longer stories or chapter books, and some will be able to read very easy books by themselves by the end of the year. You can look for bargain children’s books at used bookstores and yard sales, or purchase books at great prices through monthly book clubs offered through child care centers or schools.
  • Letters
    Young children and kindergartners learn to identify the letters. In your home, it is important to have a number of types of letters that your child can move around. Alphabet blocks, foam letters for the bathtub, ABC puzzles, magnetic refrigerator letters, ABC cookie cutters, letter stamps and letter stickers are all ideal materials for children this age.


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