Letters are everywhere!

Writing doesn’t have to happen with pencil and paper. Many emergent writing and early literacy activities are all about teaching kids the shape of letters or the way that sounds come together to make words. This can happen in many different ways, not just traditional writing practice with paper and pencils!

Encourage your child to explore writing every day. Show them that learning and writing together can be fun. Kids will feel more comfortable with their writing and reading skills when they see how it applies to their everyday lives, and when they feel supported by their grown-ups and friends!

Here are a few ideas to get started:


  • One of the best ways to prep your baby for writing is to read with them! When you read with your baby, you connect them to literacy and show them how words hold meaning. Reading together is also a great bonding activity.
  • Sing songs or recite finger plays with your baby to explore letters and sounds. These fun activities are great ways to expose babies to the alphabet and different sounds!


  • Get creative with the tools you use for emergent writing activities! Painting with fingers, toy cars, or other household items help kids develop the fine motor skills they need when they start writing.
  • Give your toddlers the opportunity to practice shaping their letters, mess-free! Drawing letters with your finger in sand, dirt, or flour is a low-pressure way for kids to get comfortable with the shapes letters take.


  • Writing can be tasty too! Form letters out of food, like spaghetti noodles or cookie dough. Your preschoolers can enjoy an activity that’s healthy for their brain and delicious for their tummy.
  • Encourage your child to “I SPY” and find letters out in the world. Looking at street signs, lists, or in nature for letters and words helps your child see the value of print and how often it shows up in their lives.

-Amanda, Children's Team, Martha Cooper Library

Read, Write, Talk, Sing, Play!

When children are given a chance to explore scribbling, draw pictures, and tell stories, they are learning reading skills. Being an active participant in writing helps keep children excited about reading stories.

Read more about early literacy and how you can make a difference in your child's life.