Early Literacy Tips

Parents and caregivers are a child's first teachers. You may not think of yourself as a teacher, but children learn about new words and concepts by interacting with caring adults. Some things that you can do to encourage early literacy in the infants and toddlers in your life:



  • Read together for 15-20 minutes everyday
  • Choose books that you both enjoy reading together


  • Sing songs from your childhood
  • Make up songs together


  • Name objects around the house
  • Talk about what you do throughout the day


  • Encourage scribbling, drawing, and coloring


  • Have fun playing imaginative/interactive games
  • Be silly



Borrow Reading Kits

The reading kits offered by the Center can be borrowed by anyone living in Alaska. There are four different kinds of kits available: Lapsit Bags | Read with Me Bags | Ready to Read Tubs | Read to Me at Home Tubs.


If you live in the Anchorage area, you can borrow kits from any Anchorage Public Library location. If you are outside of Anchorage, contact your local library to request a kit using Interlibrary Loan. For families living in a community with no library (or no state funding for their libraries), you may be eligible for Alaska Mail Services. This service may also be available to persons living in remote areas but with mailing addresses in towns whose libraries receive state funds.



Visit the Library

Going to the library is a great way to find old and new favorite books to read aloud. Your local library may offer storytime programs for young children. If you're not sure where your local library is, this list of libraries in Alaska is a great starting point.




Take Advantage of Local Resources

Find out what your community has to offer to families. Start a play group with other families. Read the newspaper to learn about events. Some helpful websites dedicated to partnerships that want to ensure all children begin school ready to succeed: Fairbanks Families | Juneau Families | Mat-Su Families.



Families in Anchorage

If you live in or around Anchorage, please join us at any Anchorage Public Library location for stories, songs, rhymes, and fingerplays at our storytime programs (APL Events Calendar). You might also be interested in:

  • Checking out board books, picture books, and music CDs from our collection
  • Checking out Read it! Storypackets (for 3-5 years)


Resources for Families

  • Parents As Teachers
    A support network that empowers parents to give their children a great start in life, includes one-on-one home visits and group events.
  • thread
    Helps parents make informed choices about child care and education. thread also offers family events and parent workshops.


This project is made possible by a grant from the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services to
the Alaska State Library under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act.