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Seeing Words

Being familiar with printed language helps children feel comfortable with books and reading:

  • Print awareness includes noticing that print is all around and has meaning.
  • Before learning how to read a book, a child must learn what a book is, how words work and how letters represents words.
  • This section offers some ideas and activities to help your child become comfortable with printed language, books and reading.

Developmental Milestones

When books are available in the home, a child goes quickly from chewing a board book to enjoying both words and pictures.


  • Look at books and point to pictures.
  • Give books to adults to read to them.


  • Scribble on paper with a purpose and tell you what they wrote or drew.
  • Begin to pay attention to specific print such as the first letters of their names.
  • Turn books right side up; can turn pages with your help.


  • Identify familiar signs and labels.
  • Have an understanding of the function of print.
  • Know that print has a message.
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