Early Literacy–Read All About It!

Written by Julie Bisnath, BSW, RSW

Did you know? January 27th is Family Literacy Day! Initiated by ABC Life Literacy Canada, Family Literacy Day celebrates the joy of reading and the importance of early literacy.

We know that the developing brain is impacted by a child’s experiences early in life.   Family Literacy activities (reading and so much more!) at home and at childcare, stimulate brain development by creating enjoyable and engaging early learning experiences.

“It’s never too early to think about literacy. Research on infant brain development shows us that a child’s experience in the early years directly impacts later development and learning. With strong literacy skills, children are more likely to go further and succeed in school, find future employment, have a higher income and be healthier and happier throughout life.” This quote from the Edmonton Public Library Early Literacy page makes it pretty clear: strong literacy skills are important!

While reading aloud to children is one of the most important activities for developing early literacy skills you may be surprised to learn that early literacy activities include so much more.

The Canadian Association for Young Children believes that family literacy includes:

  • Sharing books with children and modeling reading behaviours
  • Re-reading favourite stories
  • Encouraging children to describe ideas and events that are important to them
  • Visiting the library regularly
  • Having genuine conversations with children during mealtimes and throughout the day
  • Encouraging children’s awareness of environmental print and validating children’s “reading” of logos and household items
  • Storytelling (Real & Make Believe)
  • Singing, dancing and dramatic play


A wonderful way to incorporate literacy focused activities is by purchasing a custom made CCPRN book extension package. These Imagine.Create.Play Resource Kits are each based on a specific book and include props and ideas to extend the story, play, and learning.

Looking to expand or change up your programing this winter?  Check out these kits—available now through the CCPRN Estore!

Snowballs: Available Now!

This kit includes the board book “Snowballs” by Lois Ehlert, as well as: props for storytelling and re-enactment (a large felt snow person and many fun felt pieces!), die cut circles, and 2 “snowscapes” to inspire and invite creativity.  Snowballs, a wonderfully whimsical picture book featuring a collage-style snow family, is sure to delight even the youngest children.

The Snowy Day: Available Now!

This kit includes the classic board book “The Snowy Day” by Ezra Jack Keats and features 2 snow persons and 4 outfits (hat, coat…), “snow “ prints (white shelf liner cut into foot prints), felt snowflakes, crocheted snowflakes, a handmade felt Peter, felt snowballs, play dough mats, and more!  The Snowy Day follows main character Peter as he explores and enjoys a snowy adventure.

The Mitten: Available Now!

An all-time favourite, this kit includes the board book “The Mitten” by Jan Brett and some pretty adorable props including a sewn fleece mitten and “animals” to hide inside.  The Mitten, a fanciful story based on a Ukrainian Folktale, is fun to read and perfect for re-enacting.

Each kit also includes an ideas resource list to help you guide and promote language and literacy through play.  How awesome!  Finally, as a CCPRN member, you’ll enjoy a significant discount making these kits a valued addition to your home childcare library.

Happy Reading and Happy Literacy Day!