Early Literacy Newsletter: Issue 6

What is Early Literacy? Early Literacy is what children know about reading and writing before they can actually read and write. Research shows that children get ready to read years before they start school. There are six early literacy skills that parents can incorporate into their children's daily life. These six skills are: Vocabulary, Print Motivation, Print Awareness, Narrative Skills, Phonological Awareness, and Letter Knowledge. More detailed information about these six skills is available at

You can help your baby, toddler and preschooler learn important skills now so they can become good readers. There are many simple and fun ways to do this. We invite you to bring your child to Library storytimes, which utilize research-based techniques to build early literacy skills. This newsletter will help you extend storytime benefits by including book-related fingerplays, crafts, and other activities.

This issue features the literacy skill known as letter knowledge. Letter knowledge is knowing that letters are different from each other, that the same letter can look different, and that each letter has a name and is related to specific sounds.

Alphabet books are one way to help children become aware of letters and how they look. Here are some  recommended titles.


alphabet explosion

sleepy little alphabet chicka chicka boom
sue macdonald click clack quackity maxs abc
Alliteration Books
Repetition of sounds at the beginning of consecutive words is called Alliteration. Try reading some alliteration books and ask your child to point to the first letter of each word.


some smug slug


Walter Was Worried

Walter Was Worried

Fingerplays for Toddlers and Preschoolers

A chubby little snowman had a carrot nose.

(Form snowman with a right fist, thumb for nose)

Along came a bunny and what do you suppose?

(Hold 2 middle fingers of left hand for bunny ears)

That hungry little bunny looking for some lunch

(Bunny hops)

Ate that snowman's nose.

(Bunny grabs nose)

Nibble, nibble, crunch!

Mr. Turkey went out one day

(Start with hand behind back)

In the bright and sunny weather.

He met Mr. Duck along the way.

(Bring other hand out front)

They stopped to talk together.

(Hands are beaks)

"Gobble, gobble, gobble"

"Quack, quack, quack"

"Goodbye", "Goodbye"

And then they both went back.

(Hands disappear behind back)

Letter Knowledge Song

old macdonald

Reserve this book


Read or sing the traditional song "Old MacDonald had a Farm." As a Letter Knowledge activity, change the words to highlight a specific letter. Here's one example:

Old MacDonald had a Box


And in that box, he had a book


With a B/B here,

And a B/B there

Everywhere a B/B

Old MacDonald had a Box


(Other B words: ball, banana, brush)


Craft:  Name Caterpillar
caterpillar name craft

To get started, cut circles out of construction paper. Next, put the letters of your child's name on the circles and glue the circles together to spell the child's name. You can add legs, eyes and antennae, or decorate with markers. If you'd like a magnet, attach some magnet tape, or glue it to a craft stick for a puppet.

To have even more fun, make many letter circles, and see how many words you can make with different letter combinations. This is an exciting way for children to see how letters and words are directly related, and it gives them the opportunity to experiment with letters in a creative way.

Tongue Twisters


Tongue twisters are good examples of alliteration and a fun way to learn letters. The library has several books with tongue twisters. Here are two examples of tongue twisters that young children can memorize.


Five fat frogs fled from fifty fierce fish.

Six slippery snails slid slowly seaward.

Rufus and Friends

Reserve this book

Action Rhymes For Babies

A little frog in a pond am I

(Bounce baby on lap)

Hippity, hippity, hop.

And I can jump in the air so high,

(Lift baby in the air)

Hippity, hippity, hop.

Bounce baby on lap.

Baby lapsit

Great A, Little a

Bouncing B

The cat's in the cupboard

But she can't see me.

Help your baby clap hands or bounce your baby on your lap.


Books for Babies

The Library offers a special bag, containing new children's cardboard books and a parenting book, for parents of newborns.  These Books for Babies bags are for babies from birth to six months old and for Lake Oswego residents only.  Funding for Books for Babies is provided by the Friends of the Library.  Parents can request a bag at the Library check out desk.  For information, please call 503-675-2538.
books for babies photo