Ask a child to define “summer slide” and responses may include descriptions of the tunnel slides at the local park, the indoor slide at the restaurant down the street, or maybe the water slide at the pool. Ask an early childhood educator, however, and the response would probably include an explanation of what can happen to the early literacy skills of a child who doesn’t read or engage in early literacy activities over the summer.

As a child’s first and best teacher, parent involvement in early childhood education can stop the “summer slide.” We put together 10 tried-and-true early literacy activities for families to do together over the summer (or anytime!) that supports early literacy development.

10 summer-friendly early literacy activities for family involvement in early childhood education

1. Read with your child 20 minutes each day. Include a mixture of books that you both choose.

2. Practice letter writing in the sandbox, chalk on the sidewalk, or even a cookie sheet with flour (for those rainy days).

3. Act out your child’s favorite story together.

4. Go on a “Letter Sound” scavenger hunt. Help your child find objects around the house or in your neighborhood that start with every letter of the alphabet.

5. Listen to books on CD or download stories from

6. Add eBooks to your reading list. eBooks can be especially engaging for reluctant readers.

7. Go fishing. Put magnetic letters in a bowl. Tie a string to a paper clip and let your child “fish” for a letter. After catching a letter, your child identifies the letter and the sound it makes.

8. Connect stories to your child’s life. Reading a book with characters that live in the woods? Go on a hike. Is the setting at a lake? Visit a lake, pond, or even a stream.

9. Look at the clouds and make up stories about what you see.

10. Play “I Spy” with letter sounds. “I spy something that starts with the letter B.” (Then make the sound of the letter.)

Early literacy curriculum increases family involvement in early childhood education

ABC Music & Me uses music and movement to teach young children early literacy and language. We also increase parent involvement in early childhood education by providing families each month with the music from class as well as a Family Activity Guide (available in English and Spanish). The guide includes the story from class and related literacy activities that families can do together at home.

For more information on how ABC Music & Me uses music to teach early language and literacy and increase parent involvement, email us at

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