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Take Early Literacy Fun Outdoors

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By Liz Townsend, Early Literacy Assistant

Activities like talking, singing, reading, storytelling, drawing and writing help to develop children’s literacy. According to, these activities need not be limited to an indoor space. In fact, there are many ways to promote early literacy skills and encourage a love of reading while spending time outside. 

  • Find a new storytime setting: Grab a few books and head outside! Bring along a blanket to sit on, find a tree to lean up against, or cuddle up in a play fort. Read together or invite your child to tell you the story.
  • illustration of hedgehog and bear with pebbles underneathCreate a nature ABC book: Use the instructions at to go on a nature hunt around your neighborhood, backyard, park or garden. Look for something to represent the letters of the alphabet and take a picture of each one. Print out the photos and place them in an album to make your own ABC book. Add letters, words and other facts as desired.
  • Use nature for letter making: Make letters using items found in nature, such as rocks, sticks or flower petals.
  • Read about nature: Encourage your child ‘s interest in the outdoors by reading about it; borrow nature books from your library! 
  • Act out a story: Many children love to perform, so encourage them to act out the stories as you read. These books are great ones to use: We’re Going on a Bear Hunt by Helen Oxenbury; We’re Going on a Lion Hunt by David Axtell; and Hello Toes! Hello Feet! by Ann Whitford Paul.

Recommended book covers and illustration of landscape with grass trees mountains

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