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Reading Tips


kids reading


You will always be your child's first teacher. The library provides you resources to encourage your child to embrace reading from early childhood to adulthood. Here are some good tricks of the trade for building a love for reading and sustaining it through all stages of development.


Every Child Ready to Read

For babies, toddlers and preschoolers, reading skills are developed with all kinds of activities, not just reading books. Check out these five ways to get your child ready to read when they enter kindergarten.


Every Child Ready to Read


Having conversations with your child builds vocabulary and helps them understand the world.

Parent Tips

  • Talk with your child starting at birth. Get in close, smile, and make eye contact. Explain what you are doing in words. Ask your child questions and wait for an answer, whether it be with words, babbles, or facial expressions. Respond to the sounds your child makes.
  • Help your child learn the names of objects in life and in books. “Where is your nose?” “Point to the tree.” “I am going to put this sock on your foot.”
  • Build on what your child says. If they say “ball,” respond with, “Yes, look at that big, red ball.”
  • Rhymes are especially helpful for developing sound discrimination. Being aware of the sounds within words is fundamental to learning to read.
  • Plan for quiet times also. Allow your child to babble and practice language on their own free of background noise or an audience.

Online Resources / Digital Resources

Storytime is a great way to experience language. We have several storytimes recorded and available to watch on our website and our YouTube channel. Follow us on Facebook to see them as they come out.

Finger Play

Tommy Thumb
Tommy Thumb is up and
Tommy Thumb is down
Tommy Thumb is dancing
All around the town
Dancing on your shoulders
Dancing on your head
Dancing on your knees
Then tuck them into bed.
(Dance thumbs around, then tuck them under your arms at the end.)


musical storytimeChildren learn about language through rhythm, rhyme and using words to tell stories through song. Sing whenever the mood strikes! It builds a great foundation for reading.

View the Playlist on YouTube featuring all your favorite stories and songs. 


Online Resources




Dolly Parton Imagination LibraryRegister your child (0-5) to receive a free book a month from the Dolly Parton Imagination Library. Visit our Imagination page for details on this great program.

Sign Up Now!


Access our huge collection of board books and picture books to read often to your child. It’s a no-brainer! Reading to your infant, toddler or preschooler is the number one most important activity in growing a reader.



These sites are also great places to start reading right away.


Put a crayon in that little fist, and watch as shaky fine motor skills grow into practicing drawing letters. Drawing and the beginnings of writing teach the brain to communicate language through symbols. Download and print the worksheets below to practice writing letters, coloring and drawing.


Digital Resources



Playing helps children express themselves and put thoughts into words.

Tips for Parents

  • First and foremost, choose an activity that is child-safe and child-friendly
  • Follow your child’s lead
  • Read the child’s cues and signals, both verbal and non-verbal
  • Repeat … Repeat … Repeat
  • YOU are your child’s first teacher

Read - Watch - Learn




5-Finger Rule

Try this! Bring your child to the library or bookmobile and let them choose a book to check out. Ask your child to use the 5-Finger Rule: Open the book to any page and start reading. Every time they encounter a word they don't know, raise a finger. Here's how you know if the book is just right for your child:

5 finger rule

  • 0-1: Too easy.
  • 2-3: Just right.
  • 4: Okay to try.
  • 5: Too hard.



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