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Early Literacy

Kids - Early Lit - Parent & Child ReadingEarly literacy is what children know about reading and writing before they can actually read and write.

From birth to age six, a child’s brain is going through a ton of crucial development. Each time you read a story, sing a lullaby, tickle a bellybutton, or play peek-a-boo, connections are building between your child’s brain cells. Explore below or bring your child to the library to discover all we offer, including storytimes, imaginative play, knowledgeable staff, and, of course, books.

Early Literacy Tips of the Month 

Hello!  Are you new to Olathe/Johnson County?  Or a new parent or caregiver?  There is a great organization to help your family connect to the very best local services for your children.  This organization—the Johnson County Early Learning Collaborative—is the free go-to website to learn all about how to connect to your local Parents as Teachers organization, find licensed childcare, help with your child's possible developmental delays, and more.  Don't miss out on these beneficial resources.  Go to to learn more.

JELC logo

Fun Activities to Do With Your Child

Practice Your 6 by 6 Skills
Researchers have identified six important pre-reading skill areas that we can help children develop before they learn to read -around the age of six. 

ABC Mouse at the Library

With more than 4,000 interactive books, educational games, puzzles, and other learning activities,’s award-winning online curriculum is the most comprehensive online educational resource for young learners (ages 2–8+). Come in today to play!

1,000 Books Before Kindergarten
1,000 Books Before Kindergarten is a free program designed to encourage you to read 1,000 books to your child before he or she enters kindergarten. Stop by either Olathe library to register and pick up your child’s information packet. Every time someone reads a book to your child, color in a shape on the tracking sheet. Return your log for every 100 books your child reads to earn a sticker and get your next tracking sheet. Keep tracking until you reach 1,000 books and turn in your final log to receive a free book to keep!

New Baby Gift
Do you have a new baby in your house? Head to the children’s department to pick up a special gift, featuring a book of nursery rhymes, before your child’s first birthday. It is our way of welcoming your family’s newest member to the library—hopefully the first of many visits! Provided in partnership with the Friends of the Library.

Childcare Provider Training

Take a one-hour in-service training on "6 by 6 Early Literacy Skills" from Children's Librarian, Susan Smith. This one clock hour in-service training is approved by the Kansas Department of Health & Environment for child care providers. Please contact Susan Smith ( if you would like this training brought out to your Olathe daycare center, or if you are interested in attending a training session held at the library.

More Resources

Reading Rockets
National multimedia literacy initiative offering information and resources on how young kids learn to read, why so many struggle, and how caring adults can help.

Colorín Colorado
A bilingual site for educators and families of English language learners.

No Time for Flashcards
Thousands of early childhood education activities posted from a mom/educator

Zero to Three
Provides research on childhood development and shares tips for everything from calming a fussy baby to adding math skills into your everyday routine.

PBS Parents
Serves as the parent’s window to the world of PBS Kids, offering access to educational games and activities inspired by PBS Kids programming.

Too Small To Fail
This site provides tools for caregivers to talk, read, and sing with their children starting at birth.