How to Create a Love of Literacy: Creating a Print-Rich Environment for Your Young Child

Close up of two adorable little girls reading kids book with Grandpa. Granddaughters in Visit Grandfather. bedtime stories concept.

Here are my top five ways to build an environment that will foster a foundation for literacy in your home:

  1. Label the house! You can use post-it notes or little lined labels, but have fun labeling the house with your young child. Make a game of it by having them match the label to the house item. If you speak more than one language, you can label the items in both languages spoken in the house.
  2. Introduce them to lots of vocabulary. One of the best ways to do that is to READ! READ! READ! to your child. The more a child is read to, the more likely they are to grow a full and rich vocabulary. A fully developed vocabulary helps your child with comprehension and promotes the ability to discuss what they read. So, talk with them about the walk to the park, working in the garden or house, or anywhere you might visit.
  3. Create a writing center. Fill a spare box or bin with extra notepads, stickers, and various writing utensils. Allow your child to copy print from around the house. Encourage them to write “grocery lists” even if it is more scribbles than anything.
  4. Encourage your child’s use of “invented spelling.” A child’s ability to correctly spell a word and utilize phonetic knowledge to represent a word in written form develops over a span of time between kindergarten to grade three. While some move a bit faster and some a bit slower, the main point to remember is that children’s spelling develops over time from a blend of spelling instruction and exposure to correct spelling through reading. A first grader may be able to represent the consonant blend /bl/ at the beginning of the word but maybe isn’t hearing blends in the middle of a word yet.
  5. Let them see how you use reading and writing. Even if you are not a big reader, you can still share with them the importance it has in your day-to-day life. From typing an email, to checking out the coupon section, to reading a recipe, there are lots of ways to demonstrate to your child the place literacy has in your life, too!

If you would like more guidance in how to get your child ready for reading, contact me at Check out my website under the For Parents tab to see the services I offer and schedule your free introductory consult session.


Monday Minute: How do I help my young child be ready to read?

This is a question I hear so often, and while phonics play an important role in literacy development there is so much more to laying the foundation for children’s success on the path to reading.

Read on for ways to pave the path to literacy (no flashcards required!):

  1. Include some rhyming songs and games in your day: silly word play is not only fun, but it also builds important pre-literacy skills to prepare students to substitute and manipulate phonemes (sounds) in oral language which in turn prepares them to use word chunks and blending to read new text. Fun tunes like the Name Song (Billy Billy Bo Milly…) and reading nursery rhymes (bonus points for clapping every time you say a rhyming word!) are very impactful ways to build up students’ readiness for reading!
  2. Access to lots and lots of books! Although books can be expensive, you don’t have to spend a fortune (or anything at all, really!) to provide an array of texts for reading and enjoyment.  The public library is a great resource for accessing a variety of children’s literature and often, they have a little store where extra copies or donated books are sold at very low prices, sometimes as low as 25 cents a book. Libraries and bookstores often have reading incentive programs, too, where a free book is the prize. Also, consider partnering with other parents for a book exchange.
  3. Building your child’s vocabulary. Aside from reading aloud to your child, which has been shown to greatly increase a child’s vocabulary exponentially, providing experiences that promote new words and dialogue help, too! Baking, gardening, a visit to the park, or a walk in the neighborhood are all great opportunities to build your child’s vocabulary simply by talking about what is around you.

If you would like more information on early and pre-literacy strategies, schedule a customized 1:1 coaching session with me on my oncehub link, right here on my website or email me at My coaching sessions utilize a proprietary blend of techniques and tools I have built over 21 years of experience and through teaching my own two boys. I would love to have the opportunity to share those with your family!