Literacy Tips and Activities for Family Literacy Month

January 14, 2019 | Eleni

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Literacy is the ability to read, write, speak, listen and use numeracy and technology. As literacy skills are developed through a lifelong learning process, it becomes easier for a person to express and understand ideas and opinions, to make decisions and solve problems, to achieve their goals, and to participate in their community and in wider society. Therefore, it is important to emphasize the importance of literacy to children everyday! Here are some tips and activities to promote literacy.

Make Reading Fun and Creative

Reading can become repetitive and can lose its spark for children if they are not offered a variety of reading options. When we think of reading, we often think of fiction material. However, reading is truly everywhere and there are so many options available to us:

  • Try non-fiction books, magazines, graphic novels, or even song lyrics or restaurant menus.
  • Include your child when choosing books to read as a family.
  • Ask them open-ended questions about the book as you read together to keep them engaged and actively thinking about the content.  For example, “What do you think will happen next?”

Another fun way to get creative with reading is wordless picture book where you can create the story as a family. Some examples include Flashlight by Lizi Boyd, Good Night, Gorilla by Peggy Rathmann, and Journey by Aaron Becker.


Flashlight by Lizi Boyd.

Good Night  Gorilla by Peggy Rathmann

Good Night, Gorilla by Peggy Rathmann.


Journey by Aaron Becker.

Explore the World of Literacy

Literacy is not just the books we read – it is math, music, technology, and more! Whether we are paying for our groceries, learning to play an instrument, or using a cell phone to search the web, we are using literacy skills to complete these tasks. Here are some free children's programs at the library that incorporate numeric literacy, music literacy, and digital literacy.

Make Literacy a Priority

We know how busy family life is and how difficult it can be to fit everything that must and should get done into a single day. Here are some tips to help ensure some time for literacy activities gets scheduled everyday:

  • Book the time into your daily calendar. Once it is written down, it will be easier to remember and you will have already set aside that time in advance to do literacy activities as a family.
  • Play a family board game instead of watching TV as a family. Board games are fun activities that often promote multiple types of literacies. Recommended games include Yahtzee, Clue, Uno, Scrabble, and Codenames.
  • Be a role model for your child. If you are encouraging your child to read for pleasure and to promote learning, it will be a big motivator for your child to see that you are also reading on a regular basis.
  • Know that it’s never too late to start! There will always be days where there is just too much on the go, and that’s OK. Just remember that when you make literacy a priority, it will become easier over time to incorporate it into your day without actively thinking about it.

Resources on the Literacy Tips