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).

Activities to do at Home

Note: Model reading to your child—if your child sees  you reading, he/she will most likely enjoy reading, too.  Show your child the importance of signs around you. For example—”There’s the exit sign—that’s how we get out of the store.”

  • Have Board books available for baby to look at—try “reading” the books
  • Have baby imitate sounds—have an animal picture and tell child the sound it makes
  • Sing the “ABC” song
  • Use puppets to tell a story
  • Have child retell a story with puppets
  • Look at pictures and make up a story about what could be happening
  • Use the same activities as you would with toddlers
  • Provide letter magnets or felt letters and “write” simple words like “cat,” “dog”
  • Draw pictures and label what they are
  • Have children draw pictures for a story and tell you the story.  You write the words to create a little book.
  • Label objects around the house using index cards


The Gloucester County Library System has thousands of children’s books that will get you and your child talking. We also have books for adults on child development.  Check out some of the books in our catalog and try taking a picture walk with your child to encourage conversation.

Alphabet Adventure by Audrey & Bruce Wood (E Wood)

Bob Books First (IRead Maslen)

The Bug in the Jug Wants a Hug: a short vowel sounds book by Brian P. Cleary (J 428.1 Cleary)

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin (E Martin)

Get Ready – Get Set – Read! – Series by Foster & Erickson (IRead Foster)

Learn to Read by Maureen Spurgeon  (E Spurgeon)

My Little Pony: Phonics Fun by Joanne Mattem (IRead My)

Ted in a Red Bed by Phil Roxbee Cox (E Cox)

A Train on the Track: Learning the TR Sound  by Sarah Sheffield
(IRead Sheffield)

Wonderbooks/Vox books (E Author’s Name)

Playaway Kits (J Kit Dig-Aud Title)

STEAM Kits (J LOT Title)

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom  (J Kit CD Martin)

Hooked on Phonics. Pre-K, through 2nd grade, Level 2, [Kit]: Learn to Read (J Kit 372.465 Hooked)

Sing Along with Sounds and Songs (J Kit 372.465 Kindergarten Sing)

Born Reading: Bringing Up Bookworms in a Digital Age from Picture Books to E-books to Everything in Between by Jason Boog (372.4 BOOG)

Fun Baby Learning Activities: Activities to Support Development in Infants, Toddlers, and Two Year Olds by Sally Goldberg (371.33 Goldberg)

The Enchanted Hour: The Miraculous Power of Reading Aloud in the Age of Distraction by Meghan Cox Gurdon (372.45 Gurdon)

Reading for Our Lives: A Literacy Action Plan from Birth to Six by Maya Payne Smart (372.4 Smart)

What to Read When : The Books and Stories to Read with Your Child and All the Best Times to Read Them by Pam Allyn (649 Allyn)