Rhymetimes

Enjoy songs, rhymes and rhythm with your child at your local library, nursery or children's centre - Rhymetimes are free and fun for everyone.

Babies and children who discover the pleasure of hearing stories and rhymes have a flying start when it comes to learning to read by themselves. Rhymetime sessions are organised locally and involve a mix of songs, rhymes, rhythm and movement, while providing the opportunity to share games, novelty books and toys. They are also a friendly, inclusive space for parents and carers to meet up, mingle and make new friends.

Mum Charlotte Rowland reveals how Rhymetimes has helped her and her son

Storytime image

No two Rhymetimes are identical in format, but a typical session might include:

  • Welcome song introducing each child by name
  • Rhymes and songs for everyone to join in - including lots of action, dancing and clapping
  • Bags full of toys or books for children to choose from and a rhyme that links to each prop
  • Stories
  • Props and sensory elements such as carves, puppets and bubbles
  • Sign language
  • Rhymes and songs in various languages
  • Dual language books and stories
  • Crafts, colouring and play time
  • Goodbye song
  • Time for children to play and for parents and carers to chat

Here are just some of the reasons parents and carers across the country love their Rhymetime:

'It's an excellent time and a great introduction to the library for little ones.'
Grandparent, Ware

'Bookstart helped my child to speak English - the dual language books are a fantastic resource. Rhymetime in libraries makes me interact with other mums and I have formed friendships and don't feel isolated.'
Mum, Cheshire

'I love the way they link the rhymes to books, showing us what's available.'
Parent, Harpenden

Storytime image

'The team are just lovely. They always have time to chat, give advice and a support. Rhymetimes are fun and every session is full to max capacity. They run sessions not only during term time but also in the summer holidays.'
Iwona, Kettering

'We do a welcome song and What's in the Bag? - they even remember which teddy my son likes to get out of the bag! Row, Row, Row Your Boat and The Banana Song are very popular. We usually finish in a huge circle doing the Mulberry Bush, The Hokey-Cokey and The Grand Old Duke of York!' 
Rachel, Crewe

'The main leader of the class is so good, always very imaginative and makes the children laugh as well as learn.'
Sophie, Darlington

'Rhymetime has helped my child sing more at home, sit down, listen and make new friends... she loves Rhythm and Rhyme!'
Mum, Trafford

Why not pop into your library or visit your local authority's website to find out what free rhythm and rhyme activities are on offer near you.

The Bookstart Rhymetime Award results

We received hundreds of nominations for brilliant Rhymetimes across England - thank you!

Find out who has scooped the top prize as we showcase the winner, runner-up and finalists - and the wonderful work they do.

See the results

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