Early Literacy Newsletter

Issue 7

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.

In this issue we highlight concept books on colors and shapes. Circles and triangles are often parts of letters. Being able to see shapes will help children recognize letters. Many of these color and shape books introduce descriptive vocabulary.


Books about Colors

knock knock

Reserve this book

deep blue sea

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wow said the owl

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blue goose

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i went walking

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color of his own

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Books about Shapes

shapes that rollReserve this book


shape by shape

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mouse shapes

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my heart is like a zoo

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shape capers

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color zoo

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Fingerplays for Toddlers and Preschoolers

Blue is the lake (touch floor)

Yellow is the sun (touch fingers overhead)

Silver the stars (wiggle fingers high)

When the day is done

Red is the apple (make small circle with fingers)

Green is the tree (reach arms high)

Brown is the chocolate chip cookie for me!

Yummmm (rub stomach)

Creepy crawly caterpillar

("crawl" finger up arm)

Made a cocoon one day

(cup hands together closed)

Turned into a butterfly

(Open hands, hook thumbs)

And then he flew away

(flap hands to "fly" away)

Shape Chick Craft

Many of the shape books above have wonderful illustrations of animals and objects created from simple shapes.

This Shape Chick is a fun, shape focused activity that you and your child can make together. Cut out different shapes, identifying the different shapes as you make them. Assemble the shapes together to make a chick, glue it to a bright piece of paper to create a fun Spring decoration. You can also add cotton puffs, googly eyes or orange construction paper to decorate further. For more fun, see what different objects you can create using a variety of shapes. Houses, car and trees are among the many possibilities.





Read and Rhyme Activity

my crayons talk

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After reading My Crayons Talk, get a box of crayons and play this rhyming activity with your child.

If you have a crayon red,

please put it on your head.

If you have a crayon blue...

Please put it on your shoe.

If you have a crayon green...

Wave it high so it is seen...

If you have a crayon yellow

Make it wiggle just like Jell-O®

If you have a crayon black

Hide it behind your back

If you have a crayon brown

Fly it up and Fly it down

If you have a crayon white

Shake it left and shake it right


Action Rhymes For Babies

      Creeping, creeping little flea

      Up my leg and past my knee.

   To my tummy on he goes

     Past my chin and to my nose.

    Now he's creeping down my chin

 To my tummy once again.

    Down my leg and past my knee

To my toe that little flea.

           Gotcha! (Tickle Tummy)

Pudding on a plate, pudding on a plate

Wibble wobble, wibble wobble

Pudding on a plate!

(Rock baby from side to side)

Candies in a jar, candies in a jar

Shake 'em up, shake 'em up

Candies in a jar.

(Bounce baby up and down)

Candles on a cake, candles on a cake

Blow 'em out, blow 'em out

Candles on a cake

(Adult blows gently on baby)

Board Books for Babies and Toddlers
colors board book starfish shape book colors and shapes board book

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