Talk · Sing · Read · Write · Play Practice

Learn the science behind lifelong learning.

Early learning is everything children know about reading and writing before they can read and write. When you talk, sing, read, write and play with your child, you stimulate the growth of their brain and build connections that become the building blocks for reading and lifelong learning.

  • 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

The Practice


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

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

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

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

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.
Have Questions?
How does the Library’s early learning service differ from preschool?

Preschool programs start for children ages three to four; however, a child’s brain grows to 80% of the size it will be as an adult in their first three years of life. Early learning lets you give your child a learning advantage at precisely the time it will be most effective.

I’m getting a late start. How can I help my child catch up?

First thing, take a deep breath. Most of what you can do is what you’re already doing, whether it’s playing peek-a-boo or talking back and forth — those fun moments add up to help them learn. The Library’s programs help you expand on what you’re already doing.

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