Discover Summer for Early Literacy

Discover Summer for Early Literacy

Children ages Birth - 5 are invited to go, find and explore with DC Public Library this summer!


Discover Summer Prizes | Be A Super Reader | Discover Summer Events | Complete Your Discover Summer Gameboard

This summer, DC Public Library invites your family to Discover Summer, a city-wide celebration of reading and learning at home, at the library and out in your community. Reading for 20 minutes a day is one of the best ways to set up your child for success. Discover Summer's Birth - 5 program is designed to build on your healthy reading habit to help support all of your child's early literacy skills by incorporating:

  • Singing: Singing helps your child learn and sound out the small parts of words.
  • Talking: Talking helps your child understand how a story is organized.
  • Reading: Reading as a family is a healthy habit that gets your child excited to read on their own.
  • Writing: Writing helps your child understand that printed letters stand for printed words.
  • Playing: Incorporating play helps your child understand that reading and learning are fun!
Each activity on the Discover Summer gameboard will help your family get excited about learning. Complete at least four activities each month to be in the running for prizes sponsored by the DC Public Library Foundation!

Discover Summer Prizes

Bring your paper gameboard to your neighborhood library or ensure you have marked at least four activities complete in Beanstack by the last day of each month to be in the running for monthly prize drawings. This year's prizes for children ages Birth - 5 are:
  • June: All Aboard Washington, D.C., Board Book by Kevin and Haily Meyers from Three Littles D.C.
  • July: My First Safari Animal Set from Child's Play
  • August: 
    • Tickets to a Washington Nationals Game
    • Book set from YiniBini Baby
    • A free book of your choice!

Click here to get started by registering for Discover Summer 2022!

Be A Super Reader

Children Birth - 5 who log reading for 20 minutes a day in the month of August for a 2-week streak will be entered into a raffle for a chance to win a large floor puzzle from Three Littles. The prize is sponsored by the DC Public Library Foundation. Visit your neighborhood library to learn more and pick up your Super Reader gameboard.

Discover Summer Events at Your Neighborhood Library

The Library is hosting events throughout the summer at your neighborhood library for your child and for you as a caregiver! Check out some of the highlighted events and check out the library's events calendar to find all upcoming events near you.
Family at story time Story Times at the Library
Story times introduce young children to books, rhymes, music and other fun interactive activities! The library offers a variety of different story times that are matched to typical and different attention spans of young children from Baby Lap Times, Preschool Story Times, Family Story Times and more. Story times can also help you as a caregiver! They model how you can sing, talk, read, write and play with your child in order to develop early literacy skills like hearing different sounds, learning new vocabulary and how books work. These skills build the foundational knowledge to prepare your child to learn to read and help them succeed later in school. Click the link above to view upcoming story times in your neighborhood.
Virtual Story Time Virtual Story Times
We know that summer days can get pretty hectic! When you can't make it to the library for story time you can enjoy it from the comfort of home. The library hosts both traditional story times and ASL story time on Facebook LIVE.
Virtual Story Time
Join us online for stories, songs, rhymes, and more for ages birth to five and their grown-ups. Virtual Story Times are hosted each Tuesday and Thursday at 10:30 a.m.
Virtual ASL Story Time
Join Librarians from the Center for Accessibility for ASL Story Times! At each story time you will enjoy stories, learn new signs from the story and sing and sign "The More We Get Together." 
Children playing with sensory toys Sensory Play at the Library
Your child's senses are key to helping them explore and make sense of the world around them! Encouraging your child to actively use their senses through sensory play helps with cognitive growth, language development, gross motor skills, social interaction and problem-solving skills. It is also just plain fun! Libraries around the city host a variety of sensory play programs that your family can enjoy together.
Ready for Pre-K! Saturday, June 25, Noon | Ready for Pre-K Community Playdate
DC Public Schools' Ready for Pre-K! initiative is sponsoring a community playdate for families with young children with DC Public Library at the Fort Stanton Recreation Center! Families will enjoy an afternoon of fun including: children's music and entertainment, face painting, snacks, information from community organizations, giveaways, and more. RSVP is required. Click on the link above to register!
Mother reading a board book to a baby
Developmental Milestone Workshops for Caregivers
The DC Public Library works with partners across the city to provide interactive and informational workshops for caregivers so you can learn about the typical developmental milestones for your child's age range, pick up queues for how to spot them in your child's behavior and provide sample intervention strategies for your child as needed. In June, the Library is hosting three workshops for different age ranges with Strong Start and Early Stages. Click the links to learn more and register for these sessions.
Complete Your Discover Summer Gameboard with the Library
Working on completing your Discover Summer Gameboard activities? The DC Public Library has everything you need to Discover Summer! Read on to learn about resources that will help you check off all of your Discover Summer activities and get you one step closer to completing your gameboard!

Check Out And Read A Book About Animals From The Library

1...2...3...Practice Counting

Visit the National Zoo or a Museum
Learn about museums you can visit in D.C. or join the DC Public Library for Library Days at some of our partner museums! Simply show your DC Public Library Card to get FREE entry for your family on the dates below:
  • July 19 | The Spy Museum: Go undercover and step into the shoes of a spy in the event space of the International Spy Museum with special activities and giveaways! Please note that this special event does not include admission to the museum.
  • July 23 | The Kreeger Museum: Enjoy a day of beautiful contemporary and modern art and architecture at the Kreeger Museum.
  • Aug. 13 | The Phillips Collection: Explore this amazing and interactive art museum with fun activities for all ages!
Sing Your ABC's
BookFlixLog in to Bookflix with your DC Public Library Card to find great video storybooks that will make singing the ABC's with your child extra fun and creative! 

Have a Crocodile Rock Dance Party
Freegal MusicStream unlimited music for FREE with your library card with Freegal! Listen to some of your child's favorite artists and songs or find something new to enjoy with curated playlists. 

Attend A Library Event In Person or Online
Check out upcoming events for children ages birth - 5 at a neighborhood library near you!

Make Up A Story About An Animal
Encouraging your child to make up their own stories builds their imagination and helps them understand how we use our words to build narratives. When helping your child make a story encourage them to be creative and express their ideas! You can help guide them by asking them simple questions as you talk through the story together:
  • Who will the story be about? Your pets? Their favorite stuffed bear? A magical creature?
  • Where will it take place? The zoo? A farm? The woods?
  • What will the main character be doing? Will they be going on an adventure? Visiting a friend?
Make Up A Song About Summer
Similar to making up a story, making up songs can have substantial benefits for your child's development. Singing slows down words which can help a child reinforce pronunciation and memorization of new words to their vocabulary. To make up songs with your child you don't need to be the next Mozart! Use tunes that you already know from popular songs like Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star, The Wheels on the Bus, or Jingle Bells and add new and different words. 

Practice the Sounds that Different Animals Make
I'm An Animal - 9 Story Media GroupEnjoy I'm an Animal, a colourfully animated preschool series featuring short, funny interviews with animals in their natural habitat with Kanopy Kids! As you watch the different animals talk about what sounds the featured animals may make. With Kanopy Kids you can enjoy hours of quality educational videos that the whole family will enjoy! 

Read a Story and Then Act It Out
Acting out a story can be a fun way to add a sense of play to your family's reading time! Start with acting out a single scene. What are the characters doing and saying? What is the character feeling? Interpret the scene together or use your child's favorite toys as the characters! As your child grows you can build your storytelling time to start to tell full tales.

Practice Your Letter Sounds
When you are talking to or reading with your child, identify letters that you are using and practice the sounds. For example, if you are reading If You Give a Mouse a Cookie talk to your child about how the word mouse starts with the letter "M." The letter "M" makes a "mmm" or "muh" sound. 

Go for a Walk and Talk About What You See
Take a walk around your neighborhood or head out to discover one of the many beautiful green spaces around D.C. highlighted in the DC Public Library Discover Summer Parks Guide!

Practice Identifying Your Primary Colors AND Point Out Your Favorite Color In A Book


DC Public Library Summer Challenge is supported by: 

Click here to return to the Discover Summer homepage.