Literacy Day


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Today is National Literacy Day!  But what is literacy?  Of course, reading and learning new vocabulary is a part of literacy, but there is so much more to it.  The basic components of early literacy are actually talking and listening, language-rich, vocabulary-stretching conversation, so toys as well as books are critical literacy tools.  Toys spark imagination and narrative, think of all the language that emerges from playing with a toy school bus or a farm, dishes, blocks, or paper and crayons.  It is because both books and toys promote literacy that the Parent-Child Home Program ensures that participating families, who may not have any of these materials in their homes when they begin the Program, complete the Program with their own library of at least 23 books and 23 toys.


Celebrate National Literacy Day with some of the great activities and materials below, all of which can help all young families talk, read, play, learn, and grow together!


Literacy Activities

The Very Hungry Caterpillar is a classic.  Read it with your children today!  After reading together, make your own hungry caterpillar.  Blogger One Savvy Mom teaches us how to make caterpillars out of egg cartons!


You Will Need & Instructions:

  • Safety Scissors
  • Paper Egg Carton [cut lengthwise in half with safety scissors] – for “The Very Hungry Caterpillar’s” body
  • Paint Brushes
  • Washable paint [in green, yellow and red colors] – Paint 5 of the egg holders green [for the caterpillar’s body] and 1 egg holder red.  Allow adequate time for drying.  Paint eyes and a mouth on the red head.
  • Purple Pipe Cleaner [cut to 2 inches in length] – After paint has dried cut two slits in the top of your Caterpillar’s head and thread each end of a 2 inch purple pipe cleaner through from the bottom to create your caterpillar’s antenna.


Brown Bear, Brown Bear is another classic.  Read it with your children and use the great tips found here to get everyone talking.


Play ABC hops! Your child will have so much fun recognizing letters!

You will Need:

  • Chalk
  • Paper
  • Pen
  • Hat or Bowl
  • Scissors


  1. Pick 10 letters. Draw 10 boxes on the ground with sidewalk chalk, and write (or help your child write) one letter inside each box. Tip: choosing letters from the child’s name can help with name recognition and choosing numbers helps with number recognition.
  2. Write the same 10 letters on slips of paper and put them in a hat/bowl.
  3. Have your child pick one slip of paper out of a hat/bowl at random. Whatever letter he or she picks, the child then must hop to the box on the ground with that letter written in it.

School Readiness Tips:

  • Talk about words that start with each letter.What fruit starts with the letter “A”?  What other words start with the letter “A”? What letter comes after the letter “A”?
  • Build gross motor skills by making new rules.Instead of hopping, can you skip to the box? Take big steps? Walk sideways?
  • Talk about the importance of taking turns. Do you want to take turns with me? I can jump once and then you can jump once? Do you want to take turns with your sister?