Early Literacy in Action

It’s never too early to start reading and preparing them to be a lifelong learner. Your early learning experts at the library are making videos (with handouts) for you to do early learning at home. This page updates weekly.


Mother Goose Mania: Kittens and Mittens

Nursery rhymes are an important early literacy tool as they introduce children to the rhymes and rhythms that make up language. In this activity, we’re featuring an exploration activity: mitten lacing. Lacing helps strengthen the muscles in your child’s wrist and fingers that are needed for writing, and also helps practice hand-eye coordination.

Mother Goose Mania: Mulberry Bush

Nursery rhymes are an important early literacy tool as they introduce children to the rhymes and rhythms that make up language. In this activity, we are featuring a sensory activity: writing trays. Sensory writing trays are a great way to practice shaping letters before your child is ready to hold a pencil. They are also easy to erase if you make a mistake!

Discovery Time: Shake Up the Sounds

Sounds are all around us. We can make a loud sound or a quiet sound, but how are sounds created? Sound waves travel through the air as vibrations to our ears. Using items from around the house, let’s make some sound waves of our own! Download the handout linked below for step-by-step instructions and additional reading resources.

Mother Goose Mania: Baa Baa Black Sheep

We use common household items and simple craft supplies for a fun activity: cotton ball painting. This allows us to explore textures while building fine motor skills needed for writing. Download the handout linked below for step-by-step instructions and additional reading resources.

Rolling in Paint

This art activity is not only fun but helps your child develop their coordination skills through manipulating the box and ball to create patterns. Kids will develop their exploration and experimentation skills, using balls of various sizes and textures results in different patterns. Your child can explore a plethora of ways to create a masterpiece. Download the handout linked below for step-by-step instructions and additional reading resources.

Discovery Time: Oceans

Explore life under the sea with these early literacy activities! In the Discovery Time: Ocean Lab virtual program, we are making Gross Motor Dice (whole body movements) and a Fish Puppet (language skills and vocabulary through storytelling). Download the handout linked below for step-by-step instructions and additional reading resources.

Mother Goose Mania: Itsy Bitsy Spider

Read a book, sing a song and get to painting! This exploration activity features painting using string to make a spider web. Try different ways to make the web – even get messy and use your hands. Download the handout linked below for step-by-step instructions and additional reading resources.

Discovery Time: Butterflies

Reflective symmetry occurs when an object can be divided into two halves and both halves are mirror images. Butterflies are beautiful examples of reflective symmetry in nature, and in this activity we take common supplies around the house to make a butterfly. Download the handout linked below for step-by-step instructions and additional reading resources.

Kandinsky-Inspired Art

Kandinsky was an artist who combined colors, melodies and philosophy. He would listen to music and let the music inspire him and give him ideas to make his abstract art using lines, shapes and colors. It’s time to turn on some tunes and get to making art! Download the handout linked below for step-by-step instructions and additional reading resources.

Tape Town

Tape Town is an opportunity to talk about our daily routines, the world around us and our favorite places. Use tape, paper, cardboard and toys to build a replica of your neighborhood or make up your own new town! Who lives in this town? What buildings will you have? Download the handout linked below for step-by-step instructions and additional reading resources.

Discovery Time: Spiders

Most spiders are not dangerous to people and are beneficial to us because they keep garden pests under control! We’re exploring fun ways to use spiders and their activities to boost early learning skills like strengthening pincer grasps (for holding pencils), balancing and problem solving. Download the handout linked below for step-by-step instructions and additional reading resources.

Texture Treasure Hunt

By exploring the textures of items inside their home and out in the world, kids can learn more about the objects they see every day. This is a fun opportunity to explore your home and make some unique art. This can be as neat or messy as you’d like depending on what you have in the house. Download the handout linked below for step-by-step instructions and additional reading resources.

Discovery Time: Shadows

When the sun is shining, shadows are all around us. But what about inside? When an object passes in front of a light, it creates a shadow, and puppets are a great way to experiment with shadows. Watch how we made our own shadow puppets and played with light, so you can do it at home. Download the handout linked below for step-by-step instructions and additional reading resources.

Art Start: Foam Paint

With just three ingredients, you can make foam paint! As you gather your supplies, talk about them with your child and encourage them to make a guess about what they think will happen when the ingredients are mixed together. How were they correct? Was it different than they expected? Download the handout linked below for step-by-step instructions and additional reading resources.

Art Start: Animal Shapes

Shapes are all around us. Look around and you’ll see that without shapes we wouldn’t have bridges or buildings. If you look closely at animals, you’ll begin to see shapes in every animal! Watch as we explore ways you can make art and structures using shapes. Download the handout linked below for step-by-step instructions and additional reading resources.

Art Start: Rainbow Collage

Delight passersby with a rainbow in your window! In this Rainbow Collage activity, you will use your creativity to design a rainbow using supplies around your house, and explore color. Use this activity to talk about color, textures and even counting. Download the handout linked below for step-by-step instructions and additional reading resources.

Art Start: Window Aquarium

Bring the sea to you! In this Art Start: Window Aquarium activity, you’ll work together to create a hanging “aquarium” in a window in your house using household craft supplies. Create creatures you already know about, or make something new and give it a name. Download the handout linked below for step-by-step instructions and additional reading resources.

Leaf Rubbing Collage

Artists use crayons to rub patterns from found leaves onto a sheet of paper to explore textures. A great alternative to leaf rubbing is to use textured materials in various shapes and sizes, such as textured papers/ribbons, cut pieces of wallpaper and sandpaper. Download the handout linked below for step-by-step instructions and additional reading resources.

Shape Finder Necklace

Circles and triangles are often parts of letters. Being able to see shapes will help your child recognize letters later. In this Early Literacy in Action activity, we will be creating a shape necklace to help your child find shapes in the world around them. Download the handout linked below for step-by-step instructions and additional reading resources.

Art in a Bag

Put your art supplies in a bag and get ready to create! The process of squishing paint is interesting and fun to babies. As they explore, they learn what happens when they move their hands and arms and learn from Librarian Laura ways to engage with your child during this activity. Download the handout linked below for step-by-step instructions and additional reading resources.

Tape Resist Art

Artists place easily removable tape onto their paper, color or paint the paper and carefully remove tape to reveal ‘tape resist’ design. Pinching and pulling tape is a great activity for developing fine motor muscles in the hand. FYI, using color pencils or crayons is a easier-to-clean version of this activity. Download the handout linked below for step-by-step instructions and additional reading resources.

Citrus Painting

A fun activity you can do at home with a little bit of paint, sliced fruit and paper is citrus painting and stamping! Let the video be your guide to gather your supplies, how you can use fruit as a painting tool and what questions you can ask your painter while working on this masterpiece. Download the handout linked below for step-by-step instructions and additional reading resources.

DIY Play Doh

Let’s make your own Play Doh with common household ingredients! You can use this dough for all sorts of fun activities, like creating shapes and letters, morphing blobs into art and more. Watch the video for ingredients and steps to make the dough.

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