“Read-to-Me” Summer Library Program for Pre-Readers & their Caregivers

St. Mary’s County Library, like most public libraries in Maryland, is a member of the Collaborative Summer Library Program, with its national summer-reading themes and pre-designed summer gameboards and reading logs. However, the CSLP has only recently started to include early-childhood themes and materials, so St. Mary’s Library has been designing a “Read-to-Me” summer gameboard for our littlest pre-reader patrons and their grownups. Many other Maryland libraries have started using our designs. In 2014, we’re completely redesigning the “Read-to-Me”  gameboard to prominently feature activities based on the 5 practices of ECRR2. Each of the 15 squares of the gameboard has one activity for a young child and caregiver to do together:


  • Read an alphabet book.
  • Read a counting book. Practice counting things!
  • Read a book about colors. Look for colors all day long!


  • Scribble or draw with crayons! Help your child write their name on their artwork.
  • Finger-paint! Use real paint, or use soap or shaving cream in the bathtub.
  • Play “Patty-Cake!” Trace letters in the air with your finger.


  • Sing or chant a nursery rhyme and do the motions.
  • Sing a favorite song together.
  • Listen to a new song together! Try to sing along.


  • Pretend to be an animal. Make their noises!
  • Build something with blocks. Knock it down! Talk about high and low, up & down.
  • Make a “pretend” meal together. Act out eating it! Talk about what you’ve made.


  • Look through a book and talk about the pictures
  • Take a walk or drive & talk about the things you see outside.
  • Talk to your librarian! Say hello and ask for help to choose a book!


When they have completed 5 or 10 activities, they can claim a small prize, and when all 15 are complete, they get to choose a brand-new book of their own. We have a selection of board books, picture books, and simple nonfiction so there’s always something for everyone.

The 2014 Read-to-Me Gameboard is in revisions now; we’ll post a printable version here to share when it’s finalized.


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