Start with Stories

Connect with your young child by singing and rhyming with us!

Welcome to Surrey Libraries’ Start with Stories

Join Surrey Libraries’ staff as we share songs, rhymes and early literacy tips in our video series for caregivers and early childhood educators. Learn how to best support your child as they grow into strong and imaginative readers.

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Check out our full playlist

Five Early Literacy Activities

Start with Stories highlights 5 important early literacy activities you can do with your child from birth. Incorporating these fun and playful language rich behaviours into your young child’s daily life has been shown through research to help develop essential pre-reading skills so your child enters school ready to learn to read. You can find more early literacy resources at Every Child Ready to Read.


Singing slows down language and helps children hear the smaller sounds in words. Singing also supports motor skills because children move to the beat of music and voices. Make singing in any language a part of your child’s everyday routine when you are getting dressed, going for a walk, or taking a bath.


Children learn language by listening to people talk. Hearing sounds and words repeated in any language teaches children new vocabulary and supports their language development. Talk with your child throughout the day and have conversations about your shared experiences like making dinner, getting ready for bed or playing at the park.


Reading with your child is the most important activity you can do to prepare them for reading on their own. Share books with your child every day and talk about what you read. Let your child choose books they like and create a comfortable place to share books. By making reading a positive experience, your child will be open to learning new things and exploring the world around them.


Playing is how children learn best. Simple toys or everyday household items help children to create stories and express themselves. Make time in your day for playing outside and for your child to play with friends. Encourage your child to play with you by acting out your favourite stories together or by making simple sock puppets.


Scribbling and drawing help children learn how to write by developing hand-eye coordination. Learning about shapes also helps children form letters. Play with magnetic letters together or make the alphabet out of play dough. Share crayons, pencils, markers, and paints with your child so they can write whenever they want.