When becoming a childminder I sought out local free activities and quickly realised that most libraries provide a free bounce and rhyme session, for those of you not familiar with this it’s a session of singing nursery rhymes, playing with instruments and a chance for your child to be noisy in the library! These sessions last about 20 minutes and you’re encouraged to stay and play for longer. These sessions mean I get out the house regularly with my little ones, they’re learning social, communication, listening and attention skills all in one. As a parent it’s a chance to also socially interact and all for free!
Over the past 11 years I have spent money at various good and bad baby and toddler groups, of which some have been singing groups. As we relocate every few years I start the process each move of finding new groups to attend with my own children and childminding children. I have now a decade later come to realise how essential a good baby/toddler library session means to myself, my children and the children in my care. I attend a brilliant local library weekly who run 3 sessions of music each week plus activities on a Saturday. This has benefited the whole family as it’s encouraged us to borrow books more rather than spending money each month. It has for our eldest two given them more of an interest in reading. For our eldest ones they get independence to choose books with their own library cards and then use the self service computers to return and issue their own books. Teddy also enjoys the music sessions when he’s not in preschool, and he now knows how to calmly look around at the books after the session. I can’t recommend enough that you check out your local libraries to see what sessions they run, and hopefully you too will find good staff and volunteers that provide such a great free service. It’s always worth checking out several in your area and finding the best bounce and rhyme sessions, although with government cuts it is becoming harder to find a library on your doorstep.