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

  • 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.

Fiction Books

  • Caillou: play with me by L’Heureux, Christine (E Caillou)
  • Duck, Duck, Goose by Hills, Tad (E Hills)
  • Fancy Nancy: Tea Parties 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)
  • I’ll play with you by Siddals, Mary McKenna (E Siddals)
  • Let’s Play House: A book about imagination by Quay, Emma (BDBK Quay)
  • Let’s Pretend by Bailey, Debbie (BDBK Bailey)
  • Max and Ruby play school by Wells, Rosemary (IREAD Wells)
  • My First Baby Games by Manning, Jane (BDBK My)
  • Playing by Slegers, Liesbet (BDBK Slegers)

Non-Fiction Books

  • Go out and play!: favorite outdoor games from Kaboom by KaBoom Organization (J 796 Go)
  • Let’s Play: traditional games of childhood by Gryski, Camilla (J 790.1 Gryski)
  • Little people big book about playtime by Time-Life for Children (J 810.8 Little)
  • The baby’s game book by Wilner, Isabel (J 649 Wilner)
  • The ultimate indoor games book: the 200 best boredom busters ever! By Gunter, Veronika Alice (J 793 Gunter)
  • This little piggy: lap songs, finger plays, clapping games, and pantomime rhymes by Yolen, Jane (J 782.42 This)


  • Barney: Let’s Play School! (J DVD FIC Barney  Learning Let’s)
  • Blue’s Clues: Blue’s jobs (J DVD FIC Blues)
  • Max & Ruby: Rainy day play (J DVD FIC Max)
  • Miss Spider’s Sunny Patch Friends: Bug-a-boo day play (J DVD FIC Miss)
  • Play time with Maisy (J DVD FIC Maisy)
  • Play with me Sesame: Let’s Play games (J DVD FIC Sesame)
  • Sesame beginnings: Beginning together (J DVD FIC Sesame)
  • Signing time! Playtime signs (J DVD 419 Signing)
  • Waybuloo: Piplings love to play! (J DVD FIC Waybuloo)
  • We sign: Play time (J DVD 419 We)
  • Wiggly play time (J DVD FIC Wiggles)
  • Yo Gabba Gabba! Clubhouse (J DVD FIC Yo Gabba Gabba)

In-house 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)

Adult Resources

  • The power of play: how spontaneous, imaginative activities lead to happier, healthier children by Elkind, David (155.4 Elkind)
  • 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 parent’s guide to play by Masi, Wendy S. (649.5 Parents)
  • Unplugged play: no batteries, no plugs, pure fun by Conner, Bobbi (790.1 Conner)


GCLS Catalog

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Go to our eReference Center and choose Kids' Sites.

TumbleBook Library (animated talking picture books)

Online Calendar

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