Building your child’s early literacy skills is something you can do throughout the regular routine of your day- in the car, at the grocery store, or even while waiting for appointments. The next time you find yourself at the pediatrician’s office, try some of these activities to help pass the time while having fun with your child and developing their early literacy skills! -Marianne

????????????????????????? Ideas for Babies

Pack board books in your diaper bag and read in small segments while you are waiting. Talk about the photos and pictures in the books you are reading. Skill: Print Motivation, Vocabulary, Narrative Skills

Some of our favorite board books: I Kissed the Baby! by Mary Murphy; Look Look Outside by Peter Linenthal; Hugs and Kisses by Rachel Hale; and Row, Row, Row Your Boat by Annie Kubler

Sing songs, rhymes and finger plays: Peek-A-Boo; This Little Piggy; Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star; Hickory Dickory Dock, etc.  Skill: Phonological Awareness             

Talk with your child about what’s going on around you in the waiting room. Skill: Vocabulary, Narrative Skills

Mother daughter reading, toddler pointing dreamstime_s_14089638 Ideas for Toddlers

Look for your child’s letter in books you are reading. Have them find their letter in magazines and other print (posters, signs, etc.) in the waiting room. Skill: Letter Knowledge

We recommend: Max’s ABC by Rosemary Wells; Tuck Me In! by Dean Hacohen; ABC Zooborns! by Andrew Bleiman; and Tweak Tweak by Eve Bunting

Draw a face on fingers and have a conversation with your child.  Skill: Narrative Skills

Use songs and rhymes that include a story (beginning, middle, end): Itsy Bitsy Spider, Hey Diddle Diddle, Grand Old Duke of York, etc.  Skill: Phonological Awareness, Narrative Skills

Play matching games (“Can you find something in this book that is red like my sock?) Skill: Letter Knowledge

Show your child a family picture you brought in your wallet or on your phone. Let your child tell you who is in the picture, what they’re doing, etc.  Skill: Narrative Skills

african amer mom & child reading dreamstime_400255 Ideas for Preschoolers

Say a word and ask your child to say another that rhymes with it (Dan/can, Mike/bike, etc.)  Skill: Phonological Awareness

Take turns making up stories or re-tell a favorite story (“Once upon a time..”). Skill: Narrative Skills

Talk with your child about what will happen next once you see the doctor/dentist/etc. and what you will be doing after the appointment.  Skill: Narrative Skills

Bring wordless books and let your child “read” the pictures to tell you what is happening in the story. Skill: Narrative Skills

We recommend: Where’s Walrus by Stephen Savage; Good Night Gorilla by Peggy Rathmann; A Ball for Daisy by Chris Raschka; and Wave by Suzy Lee.

Bring a pad of paper and crayons and let your child draw and scribble. Write words that interest your child. Say the letters as you write the words.  Skill: Letter Knowledge