Talking & singing – Literacy activities for little ones

Key Points

  • Activities like talking, singing, storytelling, drawing and writing all help to develop your child’s literacy.
  • For babies and younger children, try activities like nursery rhymes, sound games, ‘I spy’, and books with rhyme, rhythm and repetition.
  • For school children, look for words in billboards, signs and supermarket items. Encourage your child to try writing words. And never stop reading!

About Literacy Activities

Talking, singing, playing sound and word games, reading, writing and drawing with your child are great ways to set up a good literacy foundation.

The great news is that everyday activities, like going to the local shops or library, all offer lots of fun opportunities for literacy development.

And you don’t need lots of time for literacy activities – five minutes a few times a day is often enough. The key is to use different times and opportunities to help your child learn. It can be as simple as writing a shopping list, playing a rhyming game or reading a story before bed.

It’s never too early to start getting your child involved with activities to learn numbers, letters and words – even babies enjoy listening to stories and being part of conversations.

Talking & Singing Activities

Talking and singing with young children helps them to develop listening and speaking skills. Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Use rhyme whenever you can. Use phrases like ‘snug as a bug in a rug’ or make up nonsense rhymes about things you’re doing – for example, ‘putting fish in the cat’s dish’.
  • Sing nursery rhymes with your child. Nursery rhymes teach your child language, rhyme, repetition and rhythm. You could try ‘Baa baa black sheep’, ‘Miss Polly had a dolly’ or the ‘Alphabet song’.
  • Repeat sounds your child makes, or make up sounds and see whether your child can copy them. For example, ‘Cows say moo. Can you say moo?’
  • At mealtimes, talk about the food you’re preparing, what you’re doing to it, how it tastes and what it looks like.
  • Talk about objects inside and outside the house – for example, the rustling of leaves, or the sounds of the birds or traffic. Ask your child if she can make the sounds for wind, rain, water, aeroplanes, trains and cars.
  • Play games like ‘I spy’ using colours. This can be lots of fun, especially for preschoolers. For example, ‘I spy with my little eye, something that’s green. What’s something green I might be looking at?’.

Check out our other great activities to assist with early childhood development.

Share this resource

Become a Member

Playgroup NSW leads play-based programs and services for NSW families with children birth to school age, offering development, shared experiences, and family support, that results in active citizens and inclusive communities.