Help parents build early literacy this summer: Send home our free handouts

Published on Monday, May 13, 2013

Parent-child early literacy materials give parents tools for building early language and literacy.

Over the summer months, parents want to know what they can do to support their child’s learning and development. Of course, families can enjoy lots of fresh air and exercise. But why not throw in a few conversation-starters to help build language and literacy?  

On our website, you will find 80 activities that suggest simple, fun ideas for promoting language and literacy through conversation.  They provide excellent follow-up activities for Language is the Key video programs. They are available for both infants and preschoolers. Each activity is followed by “hints” that help parents adjust the activity to match the developmental level of their child. The activities are appropriate for children with disabilities as well as children who are developing typically.

Here are some suggestions from the handouts. These strategies give parents some ideas for building language when they are spending time with their young children this summer.


  • Talk to children about what they see or hear. This will help them learn new words.
  • Talk about something your child can touch and feel.
  • Ask your child questions about the things he or she shows an interest in.
  • Ask your child to describe something nearby and see if you can find it.


  • Ask questions like, “What food do you like best?” or “What color is your favorite food?”
  • Encourage your child to describe a food with more than one word like orange, juicy, sweet.
  • Have your child practice counting raisins or forks. Compare sizes like big and small, long and short.
We have translated many of the materials so you can reach out to parents who are English language learners. The files are in PDF format to allow easy and secure downloading. You will need to register before downloading the files. See the complete collection of free literacy resources.