Print Knowledge

With support, toddlers can discover how helpful print can be in our everyday lives

An infant sits on the floor with an educator, and their mouth is open

At A Glance

Toddlers are just beginning to notice printed words in their everyday lives. As they recognize signs, logos, and labels, children start to discover that the words on these objects have meaning. We can support children’s development of print knowledge by drawing attention to printed words, talking about reading, and labeling specific print features. 

What It Looks Like

A quick glance at ways you can support toddlers' print knowledge

Talk About Print

Draw children’s attention to interesting print and describe what it means. Notice how this educator explains that the black and bold letters on the page tell readers to pay attention and read with enthusiasm.  

Point Out Letters

Support children’s interest in print by naming letters and drawing their attention to them. In this video, the educator names each letter while tracing them with a finger.

Highlight Reading

Embed talk about reading into literacy activities. Notice how this educator makes comments about reading books, the end and the beginning of a book, reading again, and opening the book.

We're Going on a Leaf Hunt book cover


We're Going on a Leaf Hunt

Written by Steve Metzger and illustrated by Miki Sakamato, the children in this book are looking for colorful leaves. The interesting fonts in the book change as the children encounter various leaves and obstacles.


B is for Baby

Written by Atinuke and illustrated by Angela Brooksbank, each activity in this story starts with a large letter ‘B’ as it follows the adventures of a baby throughout their day.

B is for Baby book page
Little Penguins book cover


Little Penguins

Written by Cynthia Rylant and illustrated by Christian Robinson, this story about a family of penguins has a few printed words on each page to point out and distinguish from the colorful pictures.

Activity Cards for Infant and Toddler Classrooms

Part of the STREAMin3 curriculum, these activity cards provide simple and fun ways to support children's print knowledge skills
Book Basket Activity Card
explore books

Book Basket

Provide a basket of new and interesting books for children to explore freely.

Words in the Kitchen Activity Card
have fun with words

Words in the Kitchen

Talk to children about their dramatic play as they use menus, recipe books, and food boxes with their original labels.

Letter Hunt Activity Card
search for letters

Letter Hunt

Explore your surroundings to search for letters all around.

Labels Everywhere! Activity Card
point out print

Labels Everywhere!

Invite children to look for signs, logos, and other labels all around.


Get Our Resource Guide

Includes questions and activities to guide your use of the videos, book suggestions, and activity cards featured for each of the Core Skills