Tips for Parents & Caregivers

Read Together

Tell me a story!

Help your child become a storyteller by reading wordless (or nearly wordless) books together.

Discover new things to do...every day!

Get daily ideas for what to read, watch, sing, and try with your child from the Day By Day Ohio Family Literacy Calendar.

Read & listen to a picture book...with sign language!

Watch free videos of ASL retellings of books for kids. Reading and signing stories together promotes essential literacy skills for all kids.

Choose your own ending!

Before finishing a book, ask your child how they think the book will end. Why? This encourages creative thinking & a deeper understanding.

Let's go on a letter hunt!

Pick an alphabet letter. Then ask your child to find the letter on items. Why? This helps your child notice and focus on printed letters.

Read it again!

Why? Repeated readings of favorite stories encourage children to think more deeply about the story.

Play Together

Act out different roles together.

Get inspiration for dramatic play with these informational books.

Play with pumpkins!

Use pumpkin goop and seeds as a sensory experience. Squish, squeeze, and pick out the seeds. Share words to describe what you're doing.

E is for exercise!

Do a few simple exercises with your child, such as jumping jacks or touching toes. Talk about why exercise is important to being healthy.

Can you guess?

Take turns trying to describe something without saying the name of the living being, places or thing. Why? This game develops vocabulary.

Let’s plan it out!

Borrow informational books about something your child is interested in. Use these to help create ideas for a dramatic play area at home.

Discover new things to do...every day!

Get daily ideas for what to read, watch, sing, and try with your child from the Day By Day Ohio Family Literacy Calendar.

Pick it up!

Practice using tweezers to pick up things like pom-poms and cotton balls. Why? This helps develop the muscles needed for writing.

Imagine it...with a block, cup, or spoon!

Why? Simple toys like these encourage talking during play. This is a great way to practice pronunciation and build vocabulary.

Roll a ball back and forth.

Play catch or hot potato. Why? These activities encourage taking turns, which is an important conversational skill.

Play with pencils & crayons.

Playing restaurant, bank, or post office? Include paper, pencils, and crayons. Why? This encourages children to develop writing skills.

Play pretend.

Gather household items like empty boxes. Then ask, "What could you pretend this is?" Why? This develops creativity & problem-solving skills.

Sing Together

Have a dance party!

Let your child choose the songs on the playlist.

Discover new things to do...every day!

Get daily ideas for what to read, watch, sing, and try with your child from the Day By Day Ohio Family Literacy Calendar.

Sing along...slowly.

Sing at a slower tempo. Why? So your child can hear the smallest sounds in the words.

Sing along to the music!

Why? Singing with your child helps form a bond that makes them feel loved and safe. When children feel safe, they are more ready to learn.

Talk Together

Share your childhood joy.

Tell stories about some of the favorite things you used to do as a child.

Concerned about your child’s speech development?

Get free advice from experts with Columbus Speech and Hearing.

Start a conversation at dinner time.

Dinner time is a great place to start a conversation with your kids. The Family Dinner Project has some fun suggestions.

Pick up a wordless picture book.

Encourage your child to become the storyteller with wordless picture books.

Talk about qualities of a good friend.

Throughout the day, look for ways your child can help others. This helps develop social and emotional learning, and expand vocabulary.

Share family stories.

Talk with your child about what family means to you. Have an older adult tell your child a story from their childhood.

What do you think?

Start a conversation after sharing a book. How did the story make you feel? This helps your child gain a deeper understanding of the story.

Discover new things to do...every day!

Get daily ideas for what to read, watch, sing, and try with your child from the Day By Day Ohio Family Literacy Calendar.

Read & listen to a picture book...with sign language!

Watch free videos of ASL retellings of books for kids. Reading and signing stories together promotes essential literacy skills for all kids.

Narrate it!

Why? Describing what you're doing during the day helps build your little one’s vocabulary.

Imagine it...with a block, cup, or spoon!

Why? Simple toys like these encourage talking during play. This is a great way to practice pronunciation and build vocabulary.

Say my name!

Why? This helps your child focus. Use their name as an anchor before sharing new words,, like "Katie, look at that tomato."

Roll a ball back and forth.

Play catch or hot potato. Why? These activities encourage taking turns, which is an important conversational skill.

Pass the conversation jar...

...at the dinner table. Why? When you talk as a family, you help your little one gain conversational skills.

It’s showtime! Act out your favorite stories together.

Why? This engages the senses and allows children to experience their favorite story in a different way.

Signing time!

Why? Sharing signs like "hungry" or "drink" can help your child communicate their needs and wants with you prior to verbal communication.

Write Together

Create a geeting card together.

Help your child write or draw a thank you letter to someone special.

Discover new things to do...every day!

Get daily ideas for what to read, watch, sing, and try with your child from the Day By Day Ohio Family Literacy Calendar.

Ready, set, balance!

Why? Writing skills start with a strong core. Think tummy time for babies and standing on one leg for toddlers & preschoolers.

Play with pencils & crayons.

Playing restaurant, bank, or post office? Include paper, pencils, and crayons. Why? This encourages children to develop writing skills.
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