Make practicing early literacy skills a habit: Videos & activities for early learners

By Shelley Harris, Children’s Librarian

How are you doing? We’re a quarter of the way through the year. It’s a little warmer, a little sunnier. Sometimes things feel a little more manageable as the days get longer and brighter!

Every week, I send a literacy tip or activity to everyone signed up for Early Bird Readers, our digital early learning program. These weekly early learning tips are sent via text, and you can sign up through

For the past few months, the tips have been on how to build reading and literacy routines, using routines you already have. This is called habit stacking.

It’s very hard to add something entirely new to your already busy day, but can be more manageable when it’s stacked on top of something you already do. This write-up about habit stacking goes into more detail about how to set it up and how it works.

Want to explore more? Try these activities!

Watch these videos

In this video, I break down what early literacy is and isn’t, and what our goals are for babies, toddlers, and preschoolers.

Here, we talk about how to bring these early literacy skills into outdoor walks and play.

Try some habit stacking

The Very Ready Reading Program—which is the foundation for our storytimes, texts, and videos—is broken into 7 types of literacy activities, with the idea that you can focus on one a day: share books, songs, rhymes, words, sounds, stories, and play.

What are the things you already do every day? Wake up, go to sleep, and eat. We already have routines in place for these. So find an activity to stack on it. Maybe try to:

Don’t try to add several new things at the same time! Let your new routines come together and feel automatic before adding more. 

Most importantly, remember: Whatever you are able to do is going to be great. You’ve got this!

Shelley Harris

About Shelley

Shelley is a children’s librarian with a passion for early literacy, serving and celebrating the disability community, and exploring technology. She can often be found practicing storytime songs with her black lab, Bingo.