More tips and information
This is one of a series of tip sheets designed by the Women’s and Children’s Health Service of Western Australia.
This bright brochure provides an explanation of books and developmental stages, along with activities and things you can do.
A Western Australia State Library programme - Has a wealth of information about sharing books with babies and children, as well as ideas and activities to try at home.
Websites on reading and children
- Mem Fox - Australian Author
- See the section on Reading Aloud on the left hand side menu.
- Christchurch Library (NZ)
- Clear, useful site with information about books and babies.
- PBS Parents (USA)- Guide to Reading and Language
- Find information on listening, talking reading, writing and activities for different ages. Take a look at the bookfinder section and the child development section of this site.
- Grow up Reading (USA)
- Information about reading to your baby, how to choose books for children as well as a recommended booklist.
Australian Literacy Programs
Paint the Town REaD is an early literacy community scheme that encourages the whole community to read, talk, sing and rhyme with children from birth, so that they will be ready for reading and writing at school. First developed in the New South Wales town of Parkes in the 1990s, Paint the Town Read now takes its message, 'Read, talk, sing and rhyme with your child from birth' across New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland and beyond.
First Steps Early Literacy Kit.
A Families NSW Project. Fairfield Council, Sydney.
• Early literacy information sheets
• In community languages
• Usable as a resource folder for workers
• Australian and international resources
• Reflects current research
• Hyperlinks to some information This kit can take time to download, and may work better with particular search engines. Find more information here: http://bit.ly/ifO2ea
Phone Fairfield Council: Children's Services: 9725 0393.
Follow the links to find more information on other current early literacy programmes in Australia and the rest of the world.
Children's Literacy - Australia
The Centre for Community Child Health, in partnership with the Smith family, is rolling out the Let’s read project, to promote reading with young children aged 0–5.
Initiated by the Australian Federal Government’s Department of Education, Science and Training and run annually in collaboration with the States and Territories.
Australian Bookstart projects
- Bookstart for Babies (ACT)
- Babies who read, succeed (Tasmania)
- Better beginnings (WA)
- Moreland Bookstart (Victoria)
Home-based early intervention programme for children in the 2 years prior to school entry (4 and 5 year olds).
Australian Federal Government early intervention strategy to run 2004–2009.
Community measure of young children’s development.
Reach Out and Read (US)
Successful American initiative based on supporting children’s literacy when they visit the doctor with parents or carers.
Umbrella for a number of projects and initiatives to bring books and people together.
One of the initiatives associated with Booktrust. Focuses on early literacy. Aims to reach every 6–9 month old baby in England. Currently being extended to include all the pre-school years.
Talk to your baby (UK)
UK National Literacy Trust campaign to encourage parents and carers to talk more to children from birth to three.
Resources include research, tips for parents, and advice for those wanting to develop similar programmes.
Seeks to raise the quality of library services to pre-school children and their families. Provides national support for specialist early years library staff and spreads good practice across the whole public library sector, including library authorities with no specialist staff.
UK library/social services initiative, based on using a sack with soft toys and props to support the telling or reading of stories. It has become a popular, non-threatening way of encouraging parents and carers to start sharing stories with their children, especially for parents with little positive experience of books.
Particularly successful with multicultural communities, including traditional stories.
Linked to the government’s Surestart Initiatives.
A comprehensive website with the aim ‘creating a nation of lifelong readers’, suitable for both professional educators and parents. One of the initiatives of the National Literacy Trust (above).
The site has downloadable tip sheets for parents on choosing books for your child, and helping children to read.
Read to me (US)
Idaho State library website with information on brain development, books and babies and early literacy skills. Contains links for further information.
Try to choose Alphabet resources where the letters stand out clearly from the pictures.
This helps children who find it hard to look at text.
(Try our looking and listening videos for ideas to encourage looking)
Try to find picture of things children know- how many young children know what an X ray is?
You can make your own alphabet using children's names, photographs or junk mail.
Use sandpaper to cut out large letters to trace the shape.
W is for wombat by Bronwyn Bancroft
E is for echidna by Bronwyn Bancroft (no text but could be used as a matching exercise with letters)
Alphabet ice cream an a-z of alphabet fun, by Nick Sharrat, Sue Heap
Discovering letters and sounds, Christine Topher, Research in Practice series, Early 'Childhood Australia. Volume 14, no 1, 2007.
Chicka chicka boom boom, by Bill Martin Jnr
Little Big Book Club
It's abc time picture and activity book
It's abc time reading pack
CELLcasts A is for apple
Sisters Dreaming has lovely indigenous cards
Alphabet jigsaws and magnetic letters are also useful. Try and show both upper and lower case letters so children can see the difference.
We use Quercetti magnetic letters, as they are clear and simple, with a raised ridge for children to feel.
They come in both upper and lower case.
For a funny look at letters, look at this YouTube video where people make alphabet shapes with their bodies!