Family Friendly Libraries

Written by MiriamSpall on Monday, March 16, 2015 - 20:51

I once came across "a rhyme session" for pre-school  children being promoted by my local library but I was quick to dismiss it, I thought my son would be walking around causing mayhem and it didn't seem like a suitable place for him to do that. It was only when I walked in by chance, that I saw how engaged the kids were, and how helpful and friendly the staff were that my initial perception changed, and I started to look out for events and activities for kids.

My son loves the craft activities during the weekends, kids can choose to do whatever they like from colouring, to making masks or any other craft activity available on the day and there is always someone wearing a big smile on the table helping the kids.  

They have activities that run during the week & the weekend and because it is indoors there is the option to attend no matter how unpredictable the weather can be. Activities such as rhyme sessions; Babybounce/Tot Rockbaby, crafts for pre preschoolers and primary school age children and many others can be real lifesavers for parents & carers looking for things to do as a regular activity.

Here are some interesting child friendly facts that all parents should know:

  1. All Suffolk libraries welcome breastfeeding, there are no specific designated areas, for further details please contact your local library.
  2. Libraries aren't quiet any more and it’s fine for babies and toddlers to make a noise! There are many very lively activities for all ages although there are still plenty of periods and places in libraries which are a bit quieter.
  3. You are welcome to bring buggies to the sessions, although there is limited space in some of the smaller libraries, just ask your local library in advance.
  4. Babies /toddlers can apply for their own library card from birth. Get your baby/child their own children's Suffolk Library's Card![/caption] need is the parent or carer's proof of identity. Once they join they can borrow 20 books, plus DVDs and story CDs  some parents use their own cards but why not get one for your baby/child so they can use it as they get older. Plus there’s a lovely colourful new library card for children.
  5. FREE WiFi in all Suffolk Libraries!  *woo-hoo*
  6. Bookstart gives away free book packs for babies & pre-preschoolers. They also have special packs for dual language. They are limited by what supplies and languages are available but anyone interested can contact them directly.
  7. Most Suffolk libraries run activity sessions and events for children which may include:
    • Baby bounce: soothing songs and gentle nursery rhymes for babies
    • Tot Rock: songs and action rhymes for toddlers
    • Baby bounce and Tot Rock: songs and rhymes for babies and toddlers
    • Storytime: stories and rhymes for pre-school children
    • Family playtime: for 0-4 year olds
    • Craft activities: for primary school age children

James Powell, Communications Manager at Suffolk Libraries said:

Suffolk libraries, are family friendly libraries. Sometimes staff  run special free sessions, sometimes we might make a small charge to cover the cost of hiring entertainment or materials, and some Friends Groups are funding sessions. Events have included animal encounters magic shows, puppet shows, children’s author talks, crafts etc and of course the summer reading challenge is coming round again in the summer.

Some libraries will have Easter activities and we’ll have a special list of new Easter books which are going out to libraries now. Libraries will be closed over the Bank Holiday weekend though. ( Suffolk libraries are closed during all UK public holidays, including Good Friday and Easter Sunday)

Suffolk libraries share their special events with us so you will be able to find them on our calendar of events throughout the year. 

Take a look at your local Library weekly activities here  if you haven't yet done so, and don't worry about your kids being noisy,  staff are very welcoming and friendly.      

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Where To Take Our Children