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Parents, you are your child’s first, and most influential teacher! City’s First Readers has a number of resources to help you build strong literacy skills with your children. It’s much easier than you think, and we give you ideas to make learning fun for the entire family.

Book List
Your preschooler is ready to experience books with developed characters and story lines. Now that your child remain engaged in reading for longer periods of time, you can try books that help teach important life lessons like sharing, helping others, and building self-esteem. Try these engaging books through your local public library:

  • Animal Tracks by Arthur Dorros
  • A Pocket for Corduroy by Don Freeman
  • The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats
  • Leo the Late Bloomer by Robert Kraus
  • Brown Can Moo! Can You! by Dr. Seuss
  • Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst
  • A Chair for My Mother by Vera B. Williams

Bilingual Preschool Books:

  • Mouse Paint/Pintura de ratón by Ellen Stoll Walsh
  • Un gato y un perro/A Cat and a Dog by Claire Masurel
  • Book Fiesta! Celebrate Children’s Day/Book Day; Celebremos El día de los niños/El día de los libros by Pat Mora 

Fun Activities to Try at Home
Playing, singing, and speaking play an important role in literacy development.

  • Sing songs with your preschooler. The songs you sang as a child are great (Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, The Itsy Bitsy Spider, ABCs, The Wheels on the Bus, etc.).
  • Play with your preschooler. Use stuffed animals and help them take care of it. Talk about the things animals need and use words that describe what you are doing to care for the pretend pet or your family pet.
  • Draw pictures together. Make up stories to go with your child’s illustrations and write them down.
  • Now that your child is a little older, he or she can help with simple tasks at home (putting dirty clothes in the laundry basket and carrying a dish to the kitchen sink after it’s used). Be sure to talk to your child about the process as he or she performs the task.

To find your local library with free access to books and children’s programs click below:
Bronx Brooklyn | Manhattan Queens | Staten Island

Reach Out and Read’s Milestones of Early Literacy Development for Babies: English | Spanish

Below are Resource Guides from each borough of New York City that offers fun, educational activities around the city that you can partake in with your preschoolers.

Bronx Resource Guide

Brooklyn Resource Guide

Manhattan Resource Guide

Queens Resource Guide

Staten Island Resource Guide

For more information about literacy development at each stage of your child’s growth click here.
For more tips on family reading click here.