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10 library things to do before you are 5

an open book with golden glowing sparkles emerging from the pages
24 April 2017

1 - Join the library

Go along to your local library and make sure everyone in the family has their own library card, alternatively you can join online.

2 - Choose your first book to borrow

Don’t forget to build storytime into every day – this could be at bedtime or at other times during the day. With hundreds of board and picture books to choose from there is something for every under 5 in your local library. If your child is old enough make sure you let them choose some of the books you take home (you can borrow up to 14 items at a time). 

3 - Come to a Baby and Toddler Rhymetime

Baby and Toddler Rhymetimes run at libraries across the county. They are a great way to introduce children to the library, help with their language and communication development and give parents a chance to meet and chat with each other. Find your local session and come along and join in the fun.

4 - Borrow a starting school bag or book

If your child is starting school this year a great way to introduce this idea is via a story. We have a booklist with some great suggestions and we also have a starting school bag you can borrow which contains several stories and a book with advice for parents.

5 - Read With Me Under a Tree

Reading doesn’t have to be an indoor activity, if the weather is nice why not get outside in your local green space. Have a look at our reading ideas with related activity suggestions.

6 - Collect your free Bookstart Baby Pack from your Health Visitor

By the time your baby is one you should have received your free Bookstart Baby pack from your Health Visitor (if you haven’t you can pick up one from your local library). The pack is full of great books and tips on sharing books with your baby.

7 - Find a book to help with a new experience

If your under 5 is about to experience something new such as moving house, going on a sleepover or getting a new brother or sister we have books that can help. There are 28 different booklists to help you on your parenting journey.

8 - Collect your free Bookstart Treasure Pack from your child’s pre-school

When your child is 3 they should receive a free Bookstart Treasure pack from their pre-school (if they don’t you can pick one up from your local library). The pack contains a free book and tips on sharing books with your pre-schooler.

9 - Borrow a recommended read

If you need some ideas of books to share with your child check out our regularly updated recommended reads.

10 - Take part in the Summer Reading Challenge

The Summer Reading Challenge runs in all Essex Libraries every summer. Children of all ages can take part and younger children can take part by sharing a story with a grown-up or older sibling. There is a special collector card and stickers for under 3s.