Literacy for ME: Sample Learning Targets for
Infants and Toddlers (Birth - Age 2)

This collection of literacy targets represents a set of skills that infants and toddlers are working on during this age or grade span. It is important to remember that these are learning and instructional targets that should serve as reference points. Each learner is unique and learns skills in different ways and at different times. Use the targets in this document to communicate with caregivers and educators and to support literacy at home and in the community.

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Reading Foundations Targets

Infants and toddlers are learning to...

  • make eye contact when listening to an adult read.
  • hold a book.
  • identify a favorite book.
  • point to pictures in a text.
  • turn a page in a text.
  • interact and engage in the text when listening to an adult read.
  • name a character.
  • tell one idea or event from the text.
  • tell the title of the text.
  • make observations about words and pictures.
  • point to the top of a page.


Writing Targets

Infants and toddlers are learning to...

  • hold and use writing tools like pencils or crayons. 
  • name scribbles made with marker or crayon by telling others what the scribbles mean.


Speaking and Listening Targets

Infants and toddlers are learning to…

  • interact with peers and adults.
  • ask questions to get help or information.
  • describe familiar people, places, or things.
  • speak audibly and express feelings, thoughts, and emotions.
  • follow simple (one-step) instructions.
  • use words to request help.
  • understand names for common objects, people, and actions.


Language Targets

Infants and toddlers are learning to...

  • cry, gesture or make movements to get help or be noticed.
  • respond to the sound of caregivers’ voices.
  • make sounds and begin to use simple words.
  • participate in games (peek-a-boo) and songs with an adult.
  • use words as commands.
  • begin to speak in short sentences.
  • ask simple questions (why, what, etc.).
  • use words they hear.