Family Literacy Day 2024: Let’s Have a Family Party!

By Roxane Bélanger, M.O.A., SLP-C, Reg. CALSPO Speech Language Pathologist, First Words Preschool Speech and Language Program of Ottawa and Renfrew County January 22, 2024

Family Literacy Day takes place every January 27th to raise awareness about the importance of reading and engaging in other literacy-related activities as a family.

Taking time every day to talk and read with children of all ages is crucial to a child’s development, improving a child’s literacy skills dramatically, and can help a parent improve their skills as well.

What is Family Literacy?

Family Literacy refers to the many ways families develop and use literacy skills to do normal day-to-day tasks and activities, like writing a note to a child’s teacher, sharing a bedtime story, making a shopping list or reading a recipe.  

What can I do at home to support family literacy?

Many family literacy activities are within your reach. All these activities can be done right from birth with babies and continued right through the preschool years. These effective family literacy practices and activities can be integrated into your daily routines. These include:

  • Having meaningful interactions and communicating
  • Singing and listening to music with children
  • Telling stories to your children
  • Sharing stories and books with children
  • Drawing and writing with your kids
  • Including pre-reading activities to build literacy skills.

All these activities help your child grow their language skills and pave the way to literacy. Research shows that children with strong language and literacy skills do better in school and in life.

Family Literacy Day 2024: Let’s Have a Family Party!

This year’s Family Literacy Day 2024 Theme is “ Let’s have a family party!” You can celebrate 25 years of Family Literacy Day and learn together as a family by having a party! Make food, sing songs, play games and read books. The possibilities for learning are endless – and it’s fun when you do it together.

To celebrate this day as a family, check out these resources and activities

  • Family Literacy Day 2024 on the ABC website. Resources are available online. Download and use them in your family. Share these resources with friends and caregivers or a community program. Access these resources here: programs/family-literacy-day/
  • Visit your Ottawa Public Library and EarlyOn center to know more about their Family Literacy Day programming on January 27th, 2024. The Ottawa Parent Resource Center has many resources about early and family literacy on its website at
  • First Words has many resources about books and an e-learning module: “Module 5: How to Promote Language and Literacy Development”. Visit our First Words website to view this module. It provides tips to families who want to help their children grow strong language and literacy skills and engage positively with books.

Celebrate Family Literacy Day 2024 Virtually with Honorary Chair Barbara Reid!

Barbara Reid is a picture book illustrator and author whose award-winning artwork is created using modelling clay. ABC Life Literacy Canada has made her their honorary chair for this year’s Literacy Day.

Barbara Reid invites families to celebrate their heritage and learn about their family, together as a family! Barbara Reid will be doing a demonstration on how to use clay to create a picture. She will share unique techniques you can use to make different things. The event will end with a

This event is ideal for families with children in grades 1 to 6. To participate, all you need is a round paper plate, modelling clay in a variety of colours, and a toothpick or sharp pencil.

Register here.

In 2024, let’s turn Family Literacy Day into a Family Literacy Year. Let's inspire each other on this exciting journey of nurturing little babbling babies, talking toddlers or gabbing preschoolers by talking, singing, playing and reading with our little ones!

Learn more:

  • Visit the First Words website at
  • Follow us on Instagram at @firstwords_psl
  • If you are concerned about your child's communication development, complete our First Words Communication Checkup online screening tool. It is free, quick and easy to use. You can screen, get results and refer if needed in one single activity.
  • Call the Ottawa Public Health Information Line at (613) 580-6744.

Recognizing speech and language problems early on is the best approach! Use the First Words Communication Checkup tool to know if your child is meeting communication milestones. Refer online if necessary. For more information, visit or call Ottawa Public Health at (613) PARENTS.