Early Literacy Activities

Early Literacy Activities get your child ready to read. Here are some activities from the Read With Me Program created by the Denver Public Library.  

Birth to 2 year olds 

  • Read a book with your baby and describe the pictures
  • Go to a library storytime
  • Play I spy with a letter or object while reading a book
  • Have your child repeat words and sounds and turn pages while sharing a book
  • Read something for yourself


  • Sing the alphabet song
  • Sing a song with your child while riding in the car or the bus
  • Recite a nursery rhyme
  • Sing a song or rhyme with actions


  • Repeat back the sounds and words you hear your child say
  • Take a walk and tell your child what you see
  • Look at animal pictures and teach your child their sounds
  • Encourage your child to repeat new words after you say them
  • Talk about the activities you do with your child


  • Point out the letters in your child’s name
  • Let your child fingerprint with shaving cream during bathtime
  • Name the shapes of objects
  • Have your child color with a big crayon
  • Write the names of family members for your child


  • Play peek-a-book
  • Build with blocks
  • Play with playdough
  • Pretend to be different animals
  • Play with toys at bath-time
  • Put together puzzles with large pieces
  • Bounce your child on your knee while singing a song
  • Play I spy with colors
  • Play with stuffed animals
  • Clap and dance to music


3 Year Olds and up


  • Read a book about your child’s favorite interest.
  • Talk about what is happening in the story while reading the book.
  • Talk about the pictures before reading the book
  • Read something yourself while your child is looking at the book
  • Go to the library Storytime


  • Sing one of your child’s favorite songs
  • Learn a new song from a friend or a CD
  • Sing a song while you pick up toys
  • Teach your child a new nursery rhyme
  • Sing a song or rhyme with actions


  • After reading a book, have your child retell the story (age appropriate)
  • After going somewhere special, talk about what happened (age appropriate)
  • While shopping, talk about what you see and buy
  • Encourage your child to learn new words
  • At bedtime, talk about your child’s day


  • Have your child write his/her name on drawings and cards(age appropriate)
  • Write down what your child says about a drawing
  • Write a grocery list together
  • Cut out letters from a magazine to make words
  • Help your child draw shapes


  • Read a book and have your child act out the story
  • Play tea party or restaurant with your child
  • Help your child make up stories from pictures in a magazine
  • Play simple board games
  • Encourage your child to tell stories using stuffed animals or action figures
  • Put simple puzzles together
  • Pretend to be different animals
  • Play I spy with letters of the alphabet
  • Pretend to have conversations over the telephone
  • Clap and dance to music



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