At Stillwater Public Library, we integrate the five practices and six skills as outlined by Every Child Ready to Read. Research supports that practicing these essential concepts helps prepare a child to read when they reach kindergarten. The great news is that you’re probably already doing these at home.
Every time you talk, sing, read, write, and play with your child, you are building vital connections in their growing brain.
Talk with your child every day and let them join in. Ask questions that require an answer other than yes or no and then wait for them to answer. Children need more time to formulate responses.
Singing slows language down and allows children time to hear the different parts of words. They also experience rhythm. When children sing, they’re learning new vocabulary words, too.
Surround your home with books and read out loud to your child. It’s the best way to prepare their brains for learning about language. Picture books contain words that children don’t often hear in everyday conversation.
Reading and writing are learned at the same time! Activities that encourage hand, wrist, and finger movement build fine motor development to help with strength and pencil grip needed to write.
Children learn about how the world works at playtime. They use their imaginations and language to problem solve and act out real situations while thinking symbolically.
In addition to the five early literacy practices, six basic skills help prepare your child for kindergarten by building a strong foundation for learning.
- Print Motivation: Being interested in and enjoying books
- Print Awareness: Noticing print everywhere, knowing how to handle a book, and knowing how to follow the written word on the page
- Letter Knowledge: Knowing that letters are different from each other, knowing letter names and sounds, and recognizing letters everywhere
- Vocabulary: Knowing all kinds of words
- Phonological Awareness: Hearing and playing with the smaller sounds of words
- Narrative: Describing things and events, telling stories, knowing the order of events, and making predictions
StoryBlocks: Songs & rhymes that build readers (videos are in different languages including French, Italian, ASL, Spanish, Arabic, and Amharic)
The library’s youth services staff have created a variety of videos and activities to help your youngest learners prepare to read. Check out the library’s YouTube channel or Facebook for more early literacy videos and other archived programming.
Early Literacy Tips & News
December 2023 - February 2024: The Discovery Room is ready for imaginative play centered around the wintery theme of "so cold" - snowflakes, snow friends, icy winds, and, of course, ice cream! Children can play ice cream parlor as they scoop, serve, and sell sweet...
September - November 2023: The Discovery Room is ready for imaginative play centered around the theme of water and the St. Croix River. Children can investigate a pretend pool containing stuffie fish and puppet animals that are found in the St. Croix River Valley;...
It’s hard to think about going back to school when it feels like summer just started. However, if your child is starting school for the first time, they might have some questions or worries about these changes. Will I have friends, are my new teachers nice, will the...
Webster and Puppy Pete hope you have a wonderful summer. Click on the links below so you can continue to sing songs and rhymes that they and Miss Kim shared with you at storytime. Each handout has some child development information and "Search-and-Find" fun. April 18,...
We are so excited to announce the winner of our 2023 youth library card design contest: Audrey Mast! We were impressed and inspired by the creativity and talent of all of our community’s youth, and it was really difficult to choose just one entry from the 70 library...
These all-in-one read-alongs capture a child's reading attention while making learning and literacy development fun. Narrators are lively and will keep readers engaged. Educators can use VOX Books to help early or struggling readers learn to pronounce words, hold a...
How does a storytime led by a children's librarian bolster early learning and development standards? Children interact with librarians who become familiar adults outside their families, aiding in their social and emotional development. Movement songs and repetitive...
Early childhood educators, researchers, youth librarians, parents, and caregivers can all attest to the benefits of being immersed in nature. Young children's brains develop rapidly and the more experiences they have that involve all their senses, the better. Time...
The library's phonics collection now includes a large number of decodable books to support new and striving readers. Included are Half Pint Kid Readers, Dog on a Log Books, Whole Phonics Readers, and additional Bob Book titles. These books can be found in the Early...
It isn't any secret that people of all ages enjoy scavenger hunts. At the library, we use this fun activity in the children's space because it offers: an activity to do whenever the library is open a chance to practice problem-solving and observational skills a social...