Celebrate Family Literacy Month 2019 All Year Long

January 28, 2019 | Teresa

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As Family Literacy Month 2019 is coming to a close many parents and caregivers are asking me how to keep their children interested in reading all year long. The obvious answer is that you should be visiting the library every single day (wink, wink!), but if this is not possible for your family then I will share some simple activities that you can easily do at home to help build your child's literacy skills.

Father and Son Playing Together

1. Talk

"Talking with your child helps build language and vocabulary skills."

An easy and inexpensive way to build this skill is by putting on a puppet show together at home. Crack out any puppets or stuffed animals that you have lying around and have your child act out their favourite story. In doing so, you are helping your child understand that stories have a beginning, middle, and end.

2. Read

"Reading together is the best way to help your child become a strong reader."

A really cool way to make reading an enjoyable activity is to  throw a Fun Family Fort Night. Build a fort in your living room using pillows and blankets and fill it up with your child's favourite books. Making reading fun is a great way to encourage a lifetime love of books for the whole family.

3. Sing

"Singing helps your child hear the sounds in words and build their vocabulary."

There are countless songs and rhymes that you can sing together at home to help build your child's literacy skills, but did you know that Toronto Public Library has a YouTube channel which features songs that you can sing along to? Check out this video showcasing Melissa as she uses sign language to sing "Tick Tock".


4. Play

"Play is how children learn, and how they come to understand their world."

A great way for children to learn their ABC's is through the Alphabet Up and Down Game. Write down the alphabet on a slip of paper, intermingling uppercase and lowercase letters. When you sing the alphabet song together instruct your child to stand up or jump up for uppercase letters, and sit down for lowercase letters. For younger children, parents or caregivers can lift the children up for uppercase letters, and bounce the child on their lap for lowercase letters.

5. Write 

"Writing helps children learn that letters and words represent sounds and have meaning."

A really creative way for children to learn that words have meaning is through a Collage Collection Craft. Have your child collect pictures on the same theme, as chosen by them. They can then create a collage based on that theme, clearly labelling each picture. This way they can easily recognize the words and understand the meaning behind them.

Family Literacy Challenge game

And don't forget, there is still time to enter Toronto Public Library's Family Literacy Challenge. Just complete the activities listed on this game board (PDF) and show library staff for a contest ballot. Fill out the ballot for your chance to win a fun family prize pack. Hurry, you have until 5:00 pm on Saturday, February 9, 2019 to enter a ballot. Visit one of our 100 branches and speak to our friendly staff for more details.