5 Ways to Explore Literacy & Language with Toddlers

Experience Toddler curriculum includes twenty activities per week within the domains of Literacy & Language, Math & Reasoning, Music & Movement and Art & Drama.  Each week there are five ways to explore within each domain. Here are 5 Ways to Explore Literacy and Language with Toddlers with examples from the Family & Pets theme. READ: What is the Experience Toddler Curriculum?

Book Discovery

Book Discovery activities simply explore books with toddlers. 

Little Red & Lonely Wolf

Young Toddler

Take time to explore how to handle a book. Talk about the cover and the pictures on it. Give a child the book upside-down. Observe if he turns it right-side up. Invite the child to help you turn the pages as you read aloud.

Older Toddler

Take turns running a finger along the words while you read them from left to right. When you turn the page, ask children where you should start reading. Ask them to find pictures on the page.

Story Play

Story Play activities feature games that coordinate with the story.

Roll to Wolf

Insert the Story Cards into the Pocket Cube. Make two masking tape circles on the floor.

Young Toddler

Place one Story Piece upside-down in one circle.  Encourage children to roll the ball into the circle then bring you the Story Piece. Ask, “Who is it?” Talk about the picture. Together look at the Pocket Cube for the matching picture.

Older Toddler

After the child rolls the cube, put the matching Story Piece in one circle and a different piece in another. Encourage the child to roll the ball into the circle with the matching picture. Ask simple questions about that character in the story. 



Communication activities focus on using words to communicate, repeat sentences and short phrases, and identify familiar people, places and objects.

Big & Little Voices

Begin to read the story and stop at each of the sign language words.

Young Toddler

Invite children to mimic your movements. Sign and say the word “big” with a big or low voice then sign and say the word “small” using a small or high voice.

Older Toddler

Sign and say “big’ and “little” throughout the story. During the day, whenever you say “big,” use the sign and the matching animated voice. Invite children to mimic your movement and voice.

Active Listening

Draw the Story

Give each child a piece of paper and set out a basket of crayons. Play the read-aloud.

Young Toddler

Invite children to scribble or draw while they listen to the story. At the end of the story, take time to show and tell about the drawings.

Older Toddler

Invite children to draw while they listen to the story. In the middle of the story, pause to give them a new sheet. At the end of the story, ask them to tell about their drawings.

Pictures & Letters

Listen for Little Red

Show children the book and give each child a Story Piece to hold.

Young Toddler

Read the story and pause when you come upon one of the Story Piece characters. Invite the child holding that piece to stand up and show others the piece. Then encourage her to sit back down.

Continue reading till the next Story Piece is mentioned and repeat the process.

Older Toddler

Retell the story without the book. Ask children questions about the Story Pieces they are holding.

“Who has Little Red? What game does she play with Wolf?” Act out the story with the Story Pieces.


Download the Toddler Continuum of Skills for your reference.


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