The following resources are for families to explore and expand their understanding of early literacy. Some links have interactive reading games and stories; others have tips for helping struggling readers; and some have early literacy resources in a number of different languages.
"Reading with young children is a joyful way to build strong and healthy parent-child relationships, to foster early language skills and to promote children’s development."
—James M. Perrin, MD, FAAP, AAP President
Top Tips for Families for Early Reading and Literacy
Use the 5 Rs of Early Education in your daily activities with your children, right from birth:
Read together as a daily, fun, family activity.
Rhyme, play, talk, sing, and cuddle together often throughout the day.
Routines for meals, play, and sleep, which help children know what to expect and what is expected of them.
Rewards for everyday successes (especially for effort toward goals like helping), understanding that praise from those closest to a child is a very potent reward.
Relationships that are nurturing, reciprocal, purposeful, and lasting, which are the foundations of healthy early brain and child development.
- Read daily with your child as part of a regular bedtime routine. This is a great way to have special one-on-one time and can help your child transition more easily to sleep.
Talk with your child about the things you see around you, at home, at the store, or while traveling to places.
Sing songs, act out stories, and take time for pretend play with your young child.
Take time to visit the local library and enjoy story time.
Read the Family Resource documents for more tips including ideas for sharing books with your young child (based on her age).
Literacy-Related Websites for Families
HealthyChildren.org is the American Academy of Pediatrics website for families and caregivers. It has resources on many areas related to raising healthy children, including early literacy. Below are some articles from healthychildren.org that address the importance of reading to young children.
Colorín Colorado is a bilingual website providing information, activities, and advice about helping English language learners (ELLs) succeed. A sister project of Reading Rockets, Colorín Colorado offers a range of resources for Spanish-speaking and ELL parents, such as family literacy activities, multicultural book recommendations, author interviews, and monthly newsletters. Colorín Colorado also features an extensive collection of resources for ELL educators, including research-based strategies for reading, language, and content-area instruction; recommendations for building relationships with ELL families; and information on the Common Core State Standards and ELLs.
Dolly Parton's Imagination Library
Dolly Parton's Imagination Library helps communities develop early literacy programs and provide books for early readers. Parents can use the search feature to find out whether there is a program in their community.
Get Ready To Read!
Get Ready To Read! is a website powered by the National Center for Learning Disabilities that has information for professionals and parents. It has a free kindergarten readiness test for children and provides resources to address areas of need identified by the test.
Reach Out and Read
The Reach Out and Read website provides family-friendly reading tip sheets in
Reading Is Fundamental
Kids will love the RIF website because it has games, interactive stories, contests, e-cards, and more! Parents can download booklists and information guides and learn more about RIF.
Reading Rockets is a website for parents who want more information about how to help struggling readers.
Pre-K and elementary school students can read dozens of interactive books using their computer guide. Online activities and games reinforce the themes of the story. These activities are for emerging readers and teach beginning computer skills. Books are available in
Resources for Preventing Summer Learning Loss
These resources provide tips to engage young children in reading during the summer months to reduce learning loss.
Florida Department of Education: Just Read, Families! Summer activities for Pre-Kindergarten—Elementary School
This summertime weekly schedule helps parents plan their children's reading activities.
Michigan Department of Education
The Michigan Department of Education website provides well-detailed
pre-k math activities.
National Center for Learning Disabilities
NCLD is dedicated to improving the lives of all people with learning difficulties and disabilities by empowering parents, enabling young adults, transforming schools, and creating policy and advocacy impact.
Reading Is Fundamental
These brochures provide parents guidance on summertime reading.
Videos to Teach Parents How to Read With Their Children
Reach Out and Read
FIRST 5 Kids offers videos and video podcasts:
The organization also offers