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 on this pathfinder and try taking a picture walk with your child to encourage conversation.

Children’s Stories Stressing Phonics/Alphabet                                        

Alphabet Adventure by Audrey & Bruce Wood 
        E Wood (Glassboro)

Bob Books First
        IRead Maslen
        Books 1-12 (Swedesboro)

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

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin
        E Martin (Greenwich, Glassboro, Mullica Hill, Swedesboro)

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

Learn to Read by Maureen Spurgeon  
        E Spurgeon (Mullica Hill)

My Little Poney: Phonics Fun by Joanne Mattem
       IRead My Phonics (Greenwich)

Talk of the Block Series by Ann Haffner  (Greenwich & Logan)
        (long and short vowel stories and activities)

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

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


Chicka Chicka Boom Boom (sound recording)
J Kit CD Martin (Mullica Hill)

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

Hooked on Phonics: Learn to Read (for preschoolers through 2nd grade)
Adult Kit – CD 372.4 Hooked (Logan)

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


The Alphabet Zoo:  A Fun Way to Learn Letters and Phonics
 JDVD Fic Alphabet (Logan)

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom
J DVD Fic Chicka  (Logan)

Fun-damentals: Dance, Laugh, & Learn About ABC’s, Numbers, Colors, & Shapes!  Hooked on Phonics
J DVD 372.465 Fundamentals (Swedesboro, Mullica Hill, Glassboro)

Leap Frog.  Letter Factory Video by Bruce David Johnson
J DVD 372.465  (Glassboro)

Winnie the Pooh ABC’s:  Discovering Letters and Words
J DVD Fic Winnie (Mullica Hill)


Adult Books on Literacy/Reading

Hey, I’m Reading Edited by Sylvie Wickstrom
J 372.41 Miles (Swedesboro)

The New York Times Parent’s Guide to the Best Books for Children by Eden Ross Lipson
011.62 Lipson (Swedesboro)

The Secret of Natural Readers: How Preschool Children Learn to Read by Ada Anbar

Teach Anyone to Read: The No-nonsense Guide by Lillie Pop
372.41 Pope (Swedesboro)
372.4 Amber (Logan)                                                        

GCLS Catalog

Go to

Search Terms: Literacy, Phonics, Reading, Language


Go to our eReference Center and choose Children & Teens.  

TumbleBook Library (animated talking picture books)

AWE- Early Literacy Station Computer

Go to toolbar and click “Reading, Words, & Phonics:
Giggles Toddler ABC’s & 123’s
Bailey’s Book House
Reader Rabbit Learn to Read with Phonics
Just Grandma and Me
Sesame Street – Let’s Make a Word
Little Monster at School
Sammy’s Science House
The Tortoise and the Hare

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