We know that parents are busy and it’s often hard to set aside time for activities that are specifically aimed at developing early literacy goals. This is why the ECRR2 information is so useful to parents as they can help their children work on these skills with games and outings they are already doing. However, it can still be hard to remember to keep these goals in mind. Because of this, St. Mary’s County has created two series of Learning Fun for Your Little One handouts for parents that suggest ideas for parents of young children.
The First, Learning Fun Fieldtrips feature 12 different outings and activities to do at each location. Some, like the St. Mary’s Naval War Museum or the Port of Leonardtown are specific to our county, but many could be used in by any child in any town. Fieldtrips to the grocery store and post office suggest ideas that any parent could do with their child. For the grocery store, it suggests that parent and child name the colors they see in the produce section or to find the cheese with holes and ask what it is called. All of the activities are simple and can be completed while on a normal shopping trip. The field trip handouts also include a list of picture books on the same theme if parents want to continue the activity once they return home.
The second set of handouts are the Fun with Your Little One Seasons. Every season, the library provides a new list of activities that would be fun and easy to do for that particular time of year. For winter, books featuring snow are suggested and activities that can easily be done with cold weather in mind are listed. It also highlights holidays and events that are happening that parents might simply not know about. These passive programs are an easy way for the library to provide useful early literacy information to families.