Before children can learn to read, they must develop a range of early literacy skills. Learning these skills, which begins at birth, has a long- term impact on children’s reading achievement and academic success. Children who enter school with well-developed early literacy skills have an advantage; they are ready to learn to read (Every Child Ready to Read, 2nd Edition).

  • Encourage dramatic play– make up stories using puppets and stuffed animals.
  • Pretend to read a book– let your child tell you a story based on the pictures in a book.
  • You don’t need expensive toys. Inexpensive items that you have around the house can be used for imaginative play.

Be sure to check out each branch library’s children’s section to see what is offered for playing.

  • Puppets
  • Puzzles
  • Dolls/Stuffed animals
  • Games
  • Early Literacy Station (computer with age appropriate games)
  • Launchpads


Check out other resources from our catalog.

  • Duck, Duck, Goose by Hills, Tad (E Hills)
  • Fancy Nancy: Tea for Two by O’Connor, Jane (E O’Connor)
  • Follow the Leader by Silverman, Erica (E Silverman)
  • How do dinosaurs play with their friends? By Yolen, Jane (BDBK Yolen)
  • Pete the Kitty and the Groovy Playdate (E Pete)
  • Play, Play, Play by Douglas Florian (BDBK Florian)
  • Max and Ruby Play School by Rosemary Wells (IREAD Wells)
  • My First Baby Games by Jane Manning (BDBK My)
  • Playing by Liesbet Slegers (BDBK Slegers)
  • The Way Champs Play by Naomi Osaka (E Osaka)
  • Storm Song by Nancy Viau (E Viau)
  • It’s My Turn by David Bedford (E Bedford)
  • Go out and play!: favorite outdoor games from Kaboom by KaBoom Organization (J 796 Go)
  • The Kids Outdoor Adventure Book: 448 Great Things to Do in Nature Before You Grow Up by Stacy Tornio (J 769.5 Tornio)
  • Let Your Kids Go Wild Outside by Fiona Bird (J 796.5 Bird)
  • Dancing and Singing Games by Pie Corbett (J 796.13 Dancing)
  • Game on! Screen-free Fun for Ages 2 and Up by Linda Armstrong (J 793 Armstrong)
  • This little piggy: lap songs, finger plays, clapping games, and pantomime rhymes by Yolen, Jane (J 782.42 This)
  • Tag, Toss, and Run: 40 Classic Lawn Games by Paul Boardway Tukey (J 790.1922 Tukey)
  • Creative Play for 2-5s by Dorothy Einon (649 Einon)
  • Fun Baby Learning Games: Activities to Support Learning Development in Infants, Toddlers, and Two-Year Olds by Sally Goldberg (
  • Play and Imagination in Children with Autism by Wolfberg, Pamela J. (371.94 Wolfberg)
  • 365 Games Babies Play: Playing, Growing and Exploring with Babies from Birth to 15 Months by Ellison, Sheila (649 Ellison)
  • The Secret of Play: how to raise smart, healthy, caring kids from birth to age 12  by Pleshette Murphy, Ann (649.1 Pleshette)
  • The Outdoor Toddler Activity Book: 100+ Fun Early Learning Activities for Outside Play by Krissy Bonning-Gould (641.51 Bonning-Gould