Early Literacy and Making Memories

winter holiday reading book.jpgThe holiday season is a magical time, full of sounds and smells and warm, fuzzy feelings.

We love to use that magic to develop early literacy.

Early literacy as a topic can sound a little intimidating, but it's just a fancy name for something very simple—a child learning how to communicate with the people they love.

There are five practices that are integral to our programs and helping children’s development. Let’s talk about how you can get festive, and literate, at your local library using those practices. 


  • It doesn’t matter if you’re Mariah Carey or sound like a yowling reindeer, singing is a great way for children to develop an ear for the phonic sounds and rhyming. We have a full collection of children’s CDs at the library. Whether your family’s choices involve Alvin and the Chipmunks singing about hula hoops or hitting the high notes on All I Want For Christmas Is You, it’s all great for your child’s development. 


  • As a child, I loved to write Santa. Was it always legible? Not so much. But as it turns out that’s ok! Writing letters is a great way to practice hand-eye coordination and it prepares a child to start recognizing the significance to the symbols they’re creating. Even if it look like a bunch of scribbles on the page don’t worry, It’s a great practice and does wonders for your child’s developing brain! 


  • When you settle down with a holiday book, make it a moment! We suggest pairing our books with a snack break, especially if that snack break involves hot chocolate. A memory of curling up on an adult’s lap with a big cup of hot chocolate and a book full of holiday magic is something that a child will treasure. It’ll encourage them to think of reading as a treat, and not something boring.


  • Talking about what you read is a great way to introduce challenging vocabulary. Words like figgy pudding and workshop will spark all kinds of brain development, and maybe even more importantly, it gives you something to talk about together and deepen your connection.  


  • Reading can be so much fun! When we're reading with small children, we like pretending to be the characters in the book. For example, if you’re reading the Polar Express, have everyone do their best impression of a train, or if you’re reading How the Grinch Stole Christmas, can you smile as evil as the Grinch? It is silly, and it is powerful.

We could talk forever about the science behind how a child learns. When it comes down to it, the connection between a child and the adult in their life, and the opportunities to share these special moments together makes all the difference. As a library we’re here to help you find those opportunities. So if it’s books, CDs, movies or just a sticker at checkout, we’re here to help make the most of the holiday season.

Amanda Vorce 2 Horizontal.jpgAmanda Vorce, Head Librarian of CADL Webberville