Resources for Families

Online Resources are Available

As schools and programs across the nation close to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, many parents and caregivers are seeking ways to support their children’s learning outside of the classroom. It is during these times of anxiety when children are most in need of a secure environment and opportunities for one-on-one engagement with a loved one.

Click here to find some of our favorite resources to add to your activities at home.

Books Help Children Cope with Stress

Reading together should be the most magical, memorable, and enjoyable part of a child’s—and a caregiver’s—day. Snuggle close and look at the book together; act out the voices and the noises in the stories and ask older children to answer questions or retell the story. Reading together will create memories—and impart benefits—that last a lifetime.

Click here for Tips for Parents on How Books Help Children Cope with Stress.

Watch and Learn

Experience a Reach Out and Read well-child visit. Click here!

Watch a 2 month old and her mom learn about the importance of early literacy, HERE.

Books build better brains. Make reading with your children part of your daily routine.

Download: Milestones of Early Literacy Development

General Reading Tips:

  • Make reading part of every day, even for just a few minutes.
  • Have fun.
  • Talk about the pictures. You do not have to read the book to tell a story.
  • Let your child turn the pages.
  • Show your child the cover page. Explain what the story is about.
  • Run your finger along the words as you read them.
  • Silly sounds, especially animal sounds, are fun to make.
  • Choose books about events in your child’s life such as starting preschool, going to the dentist, getting a new pet, or moving to a new home.
  • Make the story come alive. Create voices for the story characters.
  • Ask questions about the story. What do you think will happen next? What is this?
  • Let your child ask questions about the story. Talk about familiar activities and objects.
  • Let your child retell the story.
  • Visit your local library often.

Reading with Your Baby:

Hold your baby on your lap while you read.

Babies like…

  • board books;
  • pictures of babies;
  • rhymes and songs from the same book over and over;
  • and when you point at pictures – this is how babies learn!

Reading with Your 1-Year-Old

  • Let your toddler move around while you are reading.
  • Name the pictures – this is how toddlers learn new words.
  • Read labels and signs wherever you go.

Toddlers like …

  • the same book over and over;
  • a book at bedtime;
  • to choose and hold the book;
  • books about food, trucks, animals, and children;
  • and books with a few words.

Reading with Your 2-Year-Old

  • Read labels and signs wherever you go.
  • Keep different books around the house and let your child choose.

Two-year-olds like …

  • to help turn the pages;
  • to fill in the words in a story they know;
  • to point and name pictures;
  • to hear the same book over and over;
  • books that are silly;
  • and animal books and animal noises.

Reading with Your Preschool Child

  • Have your child sit close or on your lap while reading.
  • Ask questions about the story.
  • Let your child tell you stories.
  • Make weekly visits to the children’s room at the library so your child can choose more books.

Children like …

  • longer books that tell stories;
  • books without words;
  • alphabet and counting books;
  • books about families, friends, and going to school;
  • and a book at bedtime.

Here are some helpful videos for parents to guide them in reading aloud with their children:

Jean Ciborowski Fahey, PhD on Raising Readers
Video from Get Ready to Read!

Three Core Concepts in Early Development: Serve & Return Interaction Shapes Brain Circuitry
Video from Harvard University’s Center on the Developing Child

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Take a story walk around your neighborhood.  Make up a story to go with each house.