Bookbug Sessions are free, fun and friendly events for babies, toddlers, pre-schoolers and their families to enjoy together.
Each session lasts around 30 minutes and includes songs, stories and rhymes. There is usually no need to book, they take place in a very relaxed environment and are a great opportunity for parents to spend some quality time with their little one.
The Bookbug Sessions are widely available throughout Scotland and are generally held in libraries or other community venues such as shopping centres and early years settings. To find out where your nearest Bookbug Session is taking place, please click on the name of your local authority on the Bookbug Sessions Information page, or ask at your local library.
The Bookbug Sessions have lots of benefits for children, such as building up their confidence and social skills and giving their speech and language development a real boost. They encompass play, learning and the development of social relationships and help to foster emotional and physical wellbeing.
Why it’s important that all Bookbug Sessions are free
A recent poll from Play Talk Read showed that parents consistently voted Bookbug Sessions at their library as one of their favourite things to do.
Bookbug is, and always will be free for all families to attend. We sometimes get asked if Bookbug Sessions can be included as part of a day or activity session where families need to pay an entrance fee e.g. a family fun day where you have to pay to get in. We always say no, as even a small entrance fee means that some families will not be able to take part. Paying any amount, no matter how small, would go against our value of being a “universal” programme.
We know that budgets are not only tight for local authorities, but also for families too. At our recent conference we heard from Neil Mathers of Save the Children who revealed that 1 in 5 children in Scotland are living in poverty. Poverty not only impacts on children’s rights, but also damages their prospects for the future. Fortunately, reading stories and doing songs and rhymes can play a significant role in mitigating against the negative effects of growing up in poverty, and free local Bookbug Sessions in every local authority are a brilliant start.
Song and rhyme Library
We have a great selection of songs and rhymes that you can listen to on our website. You may want to include these in your next Bookbug session.
Bookbug Session Templates
We've put together some templates to help you plan your Bookbug Sessions. Please click on the themes below to download each template:
- Journeys (Babies Session)
- Journeys (Toddler Session)
- Scotland's Big Laugh
- Teddy Bears
- The Night Sky and Space
- Around the World with Bookbug
Download a blank Bookbug Session template (Word Doc) and make your own!
Become a Bookbug Session Leader
Scottish Book Trust's Early Years Programme runs training course for those who are interested in becoming Bookbug Sessions Leaders. Visit our training page for more information.
The Book Box Song
Julia Donaldson has very kindly written a song for all Bookbug Session leaders. We hope that this will be included in Bookbug Sessions in libraries to encourage children and families to borrow more books. We think it's great. Thanks, Julia!