- Talk to your baby about the shapes of different objects around the house (pillows, plates, chair cushions, toys).
- Read simple alphabet books and sing alphabet songs.
- Show your baby the first letter of his or her name in books and on signs.
- Look for signs around your neighborhood and talk about what they say.
- Talk about what is alike and different about two objects: "The washcloth is wet; the towel is dry. They are both soft."
- Use simple puzzles to help toddlers see different shapes.
- Point out a few letters and their sounds on signs; start with the first letter of your toddler's name.
- Read alphabet books with clear letters and pictures.
- In the store, have your child help find the foods you need. Talk about the labels and how the words tell you what is in the box.
- Let your child scribble and "write" with crayons and pencils.
- Play games with letters—cut them out of magazines or have fun writing them with your child.
- Form letters with modeling clay or trace letters in salt or yogurt on the table. Talk about the sound each letter makes.
- Help your child find the letters in his or her name in books, ads, signs and other print.
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The Racing to Read statewide literacy program is supported by the Institute of Museum and Library Services under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act as administered by the Missouri State Library.