Sacramento Public Library

Birth to Five

Illustration of the library's mascot, Otterby, holding a book and saying "You are your child's first teacher. Five easy practices can help your child be ready to read when they enter school. Talking, Singing, Reading, Writing, Playing."

What is Early Learning? Why is Early Learning important? Five Early Learning practices What can I do to prepare my child to read?

What is Early Learning?

Early learning is everything children know about reading and writing before they can actually read and write. When you read, talk, sing, and play with your child, you're stimulating the growth of your child's brain and building the connections that will become the building blocks for reading and for life-long learning.

Why is Early Learning important?

  • Children develop much of their capacity for learning in the first three years of life.
  • Children with books in the home have a better chance for a good start in school.
  • Children who enjoy being read to are more likely to want to learn to read themselves.

Five Early learning practices

TALKING: Children learn language by listening to others talk. As children hear spoken language, they learn new words and what they mean, and they learn about the world around them.



SINGING: Singing slows down language so children can hear the different sounds that make up words.



READING: Reading together increases vocabulary and general knowledge. It helps children learn how print looks and how books work.&



WRITING: Writing represents spoken language and communicates information. Children can learn pre-reading skills through drawing and writing, and through activities like playing with shapes.



PLAYING: Play helps children think symbolically, to understand that spoken and written words can stand for real objects and experiences. Play also helps children express themselves and put thoughts into words.


What can I do to prepare my child to read?


Learn and experience books, music and movement with your baby, toddler or preschool aged child at a Library storytime.


Expert Book Recommendations

Get book recommendations matched to your child's age and interests.

Read Together Storytime Kits
Host your own toddler or preschool storytime with a take home storytime kit that features a diverse range of characters.


Watch quick and easy early learning activity ideas that you can do with your child.


Dial-A-Story / TeleCuento

Listen to children stories read in English and Spanish. A new story is available every week.
Call anytime. 916-441-1234, toll free: 866-241-7490

White-space-(2).jpgEscucha un cuento en español para niños. Cuento nuevo cada semana.
Llame 916-264-2987, llame gratis: 866-241-7491

Museum Passes

Immerse your child in rich developmental experiences with Discover & Go museum passes. Discover & Go allows you to print discounted local and regional museum passes online.

Crocker Art Packs
Experience the Crocker Art Museum at home with this unique combination book and art pack that supports early learning.
Back to Top
Back to Top