By Camille Thompson and Jacqui Dempsey-Cohen
This month, we’re celebrating early literacy with our Winter Reading activities for children birth-age 5. Early literacy skills are the building blocks children acquire before they learn to read and write which help them on their journey towards literacy. One of the ways caregivers can help children develop early literacy skills is through singing. Singing, reciting nursery rhymes, and reading books with rhyming phrases helps children hear the smaller sounds in words, which will help them sound out words when they learn to read. You don’t need to be a virtuoso to sing with your child– whether you can carry a tune or not, you and your child will reap the benefits of singing for early literacy, all while having fun together! Try out more fun activities from our Winter Reading Activity Sheet, and once you’ve completed it, turn it in to any JMRL location for a free book.
These books are wonderful for rhyming and singing with your child:
Every Little Thing by Cedella Marley: An exuberant picture book adaptation of Bob Marley’s song that illustrates the reassuring story of a bouncing, dreadlocked boy who won’t let anything get him down.
Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star by Jerry Pinkney: A lavish rendition of the classic song following the adventures of a curious chipmunk who embarks on an imaginary voyage to the stars.
Barnyard Dance by Sandra Boynton: Adorably silly farm animals dance and prance across board book pages in a frolicking read-aloud with foot-stomping rhythms and rhymes.
Goodnight Songs by Margaret Wise Brown: A collection of charming lullabies by the celebrated author of Goodnight Moon, illustrated by 12 award winning artists.
Baa Baa Black Sheep by Jane Cabrera: Black sheep graciously offers bag after bag of wool to Miss, who hand-knits mittens, a tea cozy, and other fuzzy gifts for her friends. Includes music for piano and guitar.
Inch by Inch by David Mallett: Inch by inch and row by row, a boy and his dog help their garden grow in this playfully illustrated version of the classic song.
Seals on the Bus by Lenny Hort: What will the people on the bus do when raucous animals hop on board and add their voices to the din? This beastly twist on a favorite song will have young readers errping and roaring and honking along.
I Went Walking by Sue Williams: A melodious guessing-game concept book in which a shock-headed child goes for a walk and collects a procession of surprisingly colorful animals.