Early Literacy Programs
DTDL offers a variety of services to support families and encourage the development of early literacy skills. Check out the Ready to Read Michigan guide for more information about early literacy, with tips for talking, singing, reading, writing, and playing with your child.
1000 Books Before Kindergarten
1000 Books Before Kindergarten is a program that encourages families to read 1000 books to their children before they start Kindergarten. For each 100 books you read, you’ll earn a free book and sticker from DTDL. Learn more and get started here.
DTDL offers a variety of programs for young children, including storytimes, Baby Time, Paws for Reading, Big Playdates, and more. See a full schedule of programs on our event calendar.
All ages can enjoy DTDL's Sensory Walk, located outside in front of the library. Use your five senses to look, listen, and learn about the environment around you, and play with outdoor musical instruments, including a butterfly bell, musical mushroom, harmony flowers, and rainbow bongos. This project was made possible in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services and Woodlands Library Cooperative.
Located across the street from the library in Sharp Park, DTDL's StoryWalk is a series of signs which feature pages of a picture book along with early literacy activities. Enjoy the story while walking along the path. New stories are added throughout the year. The StoryWalk® Project was created by Anne Ferguson of Montpelier, VT and developed in collaboration with the Kellogg-Hubbard Library. Storywalk® is a registered service mark owned by Ms. Ferguson.
Fall 2022 Book: In a Jar by Deborah Marcero
A fun way for families to enjoy storytime, anytime! Call in to DTDL’s Story Line (517-321-4014 and press 8) to hear a new children’s story each week, read by the library’s Youth Services staff. At the end of each story we also include an fun activity you can do at home that ties in to the reading.
Visit our storytime blog to see the books, songs, fingerplays, and more we include in our storytimes.
Storytime Kits are geared towards children birth to five and support the development of early literacy skills. The kits encourage five activities that caregivers can do with children: reading, singing, talking, writing, and playing. Each kit has a theme and includes books, toys, and an activity sheet. Storytime Kits are part of our Little Things collection and can be checked out from the library.
Take It & Make It
DTDL offers free Take It & Make It kits for kids and adults, including kits specifically geared towards ages 5 & under. Kits may include arts & crafts, STEM, and literacy activities. Free children's art supplies kits are also available. Learn more and request your kits here.
TALK: Text and Learn for Kindergarten
Make any time learning time! Parents and caregivers with kids 5 and under can sign up for a new text messaging service and get 8–10 messages per month with fun activities you can do at home to help prepare your little one for school success. Text TALK to 75547 or sign up here.
TALK: Text and Learn for Kindergarten sends fun activities parents can do with their babies and preschoolers to make any time learning time. Developed by librarians and based on the Every Child Ready to Read program that encourages parents to read, write, sing, talk, and play with their little ones everyday, TALK activities are designed to get kids ready for school success. You’ll get updates for local library storytimes and other free, educational children’s events; and you’ll even get a few tips just for you, because when parents are strong and healthy, it’s easier to give your kids what they need to grow. Learn more about this program here.
Bright by Text
For more tips by text, check out Bright by Text, hosted by Eaton Great Start, which provides age-specific developmental tips, learning games, and local community information for Eaton County families. Text ECKIDS to 274448 or sign up here. Learn more about Bright by Text here.
Join DTDL’s Youth Staff for video storytimes featuring all your favorite storytime activities: stories, rhymes, music, movement, and more!
Welcome Baby Bags
Are you an expecting parent or have a new infant? Eaton Great Start provides Welcome Baby Bags to Eaton County families to make sure that all babies in Eaton County get a great start. Bags include: a sleep sack, children’s books, diaper and wipe samplers, bath time items, children’s medicine kit, self-care items for mom and stuff for dad, resource sheets, and more (over a $50 value). Stop by the library's Youth Desk or call 517-321-4014 x3 to request a bag for carside pickup.
Early Childhood Community Resources
Great Start to Quality: Looking for information child care? Great Start to Quality helps Michigan families find the best early learning settings for their children and helps educators improve the care they provide to children.
Michigan Preschool: Learn about local preschool opportunities and see if your family qualifies for free preschool.
Women, Infants and Children (WIC): WIC is a program that helps families meet their nutrition and health goals. WIC provides healthy food, nutrition counseling, referrals to additional community resources, and special benefits for breastfeeding moms and babies. If you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or are caring for an infant or child under 5 (including dads, grandparents, or foster parents with custody) you may qualify.
Parents as Teachers: Eaton Great Start offers Parents as Teachers, an evidence-based home visiting model that promotes optimal early development and the learning and health of children. This service is free to any family in Eaton County or the Eaton RESA service area. Families with a child ages prenatal to Kindergarten entry are eligible to participate.
Eaton County Parent Coalition: We work to empower families to support their child’s development and health. Use YOUR unique parenting voice to improve the early childhood experience in Eaton County.