Looking for books to read with your preschooler? EPL staff have compiled excellent titles that are sure to thrill your little one!
These titles are featured in EPL's recommended reading lists, along with early literacy tips and information for parents and caregivers. Click the images below to see the full reading booklet (also featuring titles for babies and toddlers!)
Free printed keepsake copies of both of these booklets are available from any EPL around the city. Pick up a copy to keep and personalize it with your preschooler's preferences as a way to keep cherished memories forever!
Family Storytime: Share stories, songs and games for the whole family.
Puppet Shows: Library puppeteers bring the puppets to life on stage with plenty of action and lively antics.
There are many other programs available for preschoolers. EPL offers over 6800 programs each year; search the current listings to find one for you and your family.
These videos will help your preschooler's language development. We also have videos for toddlers and babies. Books, free programs, expert staff and these videos are all ways we are helping you help your baby with essential early literacy skills.
Kids have a lot of energy! Singing silly songs and rhymes helps children shake their sillies out as well as develop language skills!
Some of the first words a child learns are face and body parts! Rhymes that include touching faces and moving fingers help children learn words, but they also offer you a chance to cuddle with your child! Babies love to have their faces touched, and toddlers and preschoolers love to master their fingers! Rhymes that encourage loving physical contact help children feel safe and loved and ready to learn!
Sharing songs together can make everything more fun! Add songs to your everyday activities to make them more fun—bathtimes, folding the laundry, making dinner or diaper changing! To your children, you have the most beautiful voice in the world! They don’t mind if you sing off-key—they are just happy that you are sharing music with them! Singing helps children understand how the little sounds in language work, which helps put them on the path to becoming readers!
Soon the time will come when your little one is off to school and learning to read.
To help make that easier for her, you can reinforce early literacy skills now so that she's ready to read in school. Here are some tips to use with your preschooler at home (watch the matching videos):
- When reading together, ask your child to identify different letters on the page
- Become a letter detective! Encourage your child to find things around you that start with a specific letter
- You can use play-doh (or real dough!) to make shapes and letters
- When reading books together, ask questions like "what do you think will happen next?" This will help them imagine how the story will unfold
- Ask your child to talk about their day
- Encourage your child to make their own books. Staple some pages together and have your child illustrate a story! They can dictate the story to you and write the words they know, like the title or their own name.
- Read books with silly words, rhymes, and alliteration
- See how many rhyming words you can think of! 'Cat' and 'stop' are good ones to start with
- Try singing the alphabet with sounds instead of letter names - it's trickier than you might think!
- Read books in lots of different styles, including wordless books and books with speech bubbles
- Talk together about signs and labels – what they do and why people use them
- Encourage children to write their name on their artwork
- Let your child see you reading for pleasure
- Encourage your child to help you select books when you're at the library
- Use a recipe to make cookies (or another fun treat) – it will demonstrate how words can be used to make something delicious!
- Read lots of books together; books often include words that aren't commonly used in everyday conversation
- Ask questions that require more than a 'yes' or 'no' answer – it will mean that your child will use more words in their answer
- Encourage your child to ask about words that they don't know.
Other great early literacy resources are available from:
ABC Life Literacy Canada is a national organization that inspires Canadians of all ages to increase their literacy skills. There are lots of tips to help children and parents read, talk, and play together.
Located in Edmonton, the Centre for Family Literacy is dedicated to building, developing, and improving literacy with families and communities.
Find out about what the American Library Association is doing to help promote early literacy.
Encouraging early literacy is easy – just read, talk and play! Read books together. Talk about what is around you. Play games and have fun!