Birth to Five: Focus on the First Years: Early Literacy Resourses


Left Top Rounded Corner


Early Literacy Resources


Research shows that the development of language and literacy skills begins at birth. Children develop much of their capacity for learning in the first three years of life, when their brains grow and develop to 90 percent of their eventual adult size. The library encourages all adults who have contact with young children to talk and read with them because this will help them succeed both in school and later in life.


RIght Top Rounded Corner
Left Bottom Rounded Corner     Right Bottom Rounded Corner


Books and Booklists for Young Children





More More More Said the Baby cover

Developmental Tips


Infants and toddlers grow and develop in predictable patterns. The exact rate, however, may vary from child to child. Parents and caregivers should read aloud, play games and do exercises to support the child's current level of development. See the websites listed below for activities to do with your baby or toddler and to find developmental milestones charts.

  • Play and Learning for Toddlers
    Find learning activities to do with your toddler. Many of these activities use household items and can be done any time

  • Get Set 4
    By Charlotte Mecklenburg Library. A month by month guide for Kindergarten skills development and getting ready to read

  • BabyCenter
    Information for parents about your baby's development starting at pregnancy and beyond

  • Developmental Milestones
    By University of Michigan Health System. Child development refers to how a child becomes able to do more complex things as they get older. Development is different than growth. This presents age-specific tasks that most children can do at a certain age range

  • Is Your Baby on Track? Timeline of Childhood Milestones: Birth to 5 Years Old
    Using input from the CDC and the American Academy of Pediatrics, WebMD has compiled a rough timeline of early childhood developmental milestones

  • PBS: Developmental Milestones for Your Child's First Five Years
    Children grow and develop at different rates. While their pathways through childhood differ, most pass a set of predictable milestones along the way. The information presented on this site offers a map that can help you follow your child's journey

Don't forget that BCPL librarians can help you find materials to answer any questions or concerns you might have about a child's development.



Goodnight Moon cover


Round is a Mooncake by Roseanne Thong cover


Click to see this title in BCPL's catalog.

Online Resources




Daddy and Me by Karen Katz cover

Programs for Babies


This is an image of a small toddler waving her hands in the air.The benefits of library programs for infants and toddlers are infinite. Children enjoy coming to the library. Getting together as a group improves their social skills. The exposure to books and language can increase comprehension, attention span, and help with early language.

Research shows that reading simple stories and playing silly word games are more than play - they provide necessary pre-reading skills. The stories, nursery rhymes, finger plays, and songs shared at infant and toddler programs are perfect examples. Parents and caregivers can repeat them again and again to the child's delight.  Bonding between caregiver and child is another benefit of these programs. Please join us at the library or explore the other Baltimore area programs on this site. You and your child can have fun learning, laughing, and growing together.


Library Programs


Find library story times and programs for infants, toddlers and preschoolers at every BCPL branch. Check dateLines, our online Calendar of Events for a complete listing by branch of all story times as well as family programs.


Summer @ Your Library: Be sure to sign up for the annual Read-to-Me summer reading program, which is designed as an adult and child activity. The adult reads to the child and helps the child with a variety of other pre-reading skill building activities.




Click to see books by Molly Bang in BCPL's catalog.


1 2 3 A Child's First Counting Book cover

Reading Aloud to Young Children


Important Benefits of Reading to Young Children:

  • Creates a bond between the child and the adult.

  • Enables parents and caregivers to communicate their interests and concerns in an enjoyable way.

  • Educates children about the world and people around them.

  • Creates a love of books early, which will help children succeed later in school.






What Can You Do to Make Your Child Love Reading?


  • It's never too early to read to your baby. Try rhymes like "Mary Had a Little Lamb", a birthday card, a cereal box, even the newspaper! The sounds children hear are what matter.

  • Keep a book in your diaper bag. You value reading, and carrying a book with you shows it!

  • Introduce simple pictures and storybooks as your baby grows. Shapes, colors and sounds will delight. Try picture books for songs that you can sing together.

  • Change your voice for different characters in a book. Help your child learn the characters through your voice.

  • Point out people and objects. Ask your child, "Where is the dog hiding?" or other questions about the book before or after you read the page.

  • Read the same book over and over -- really. It helps children feel secure.

  • Discuss the stories you are reading with your child. Ask questions such as "What sound will the dog make?"

  • Discuss the parts of the book. What is the front of the book? Where does the story start? Who is the author? As you read, move your finger to show how the words move across the page.

  • Visit the library often and let children help select their own books.

  • Get your child their own library card today!

  • Make a special time for reading aloud -- after dinner, before bed ... anytime. Talk calmly and take your time, let your child know this is important to you.

  • Let your children see you reading. They want to imitate you. Talk about what you read.

Endorsed by Baltimore County Public Schools and the Baltimore County Local Management Board




Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle cover


Chicka Chicka Boom Boom cover

Revised: February 6, 2018