Key Bookstart messages

Here are the most important messages to give to mums, dads and carers when gifting Bookstart packs.

  • You are your child’s first and most important teacher. Stories, books and rhymes are an essential part of your child’s development, so it’s important to include them in your everyday routine. This will help your child develop many important skills that will help them become happy and confident learners
  • It's good to enjoy stories, books and rhymes with your child from as early an age as possible. Babies don’t need to understand all the words, they will just love to listen to your voice
  • Sharing books, talking about the pictures and cuddling up close together will help you to build a strong and loving relationship with your child. Everyone in the family can join in: dads, mums, grandparents, brothers, sisters, aunties and uncles
  • Your child will love lots of different kinds of books and will enjoy choosing ones for themselves, so it's good to join the library. Libraries welcome all ages and are free to join
A family reading together

Other messages to consider

  • Babies love books with bright, bold pictures and photographs
  • Make time to read with your child every day, even 10 minutes will make a huge difference to how they learn and grow. Plus, it's great fun for you both
  • Your local library may run regular Rhymetime and Storytime sessions for families, where you can learn new rhymes, have fun with books and stories and meet other parents and babies
  • Wriggly babies love action songs and rhymes, and enjoy hearing the same ones again and again
  • Having a baby can be incredibly tiring and demanding. Your Bookstart pack gives you the chance to escape from the everyday and make time together for smiles, laughter and love
  • Sharing books is fun and it gives your baby a wonderful start

Things to keep in mind when gifting the Bookstart Packs

It's really important to open the pack and take out the contents with the parent or care giver.

Think in advance whether a Bookshine, Booktouch or Bookstart Star pack may be more suitable if the child has additional needs.

  • Think in advance whether the family would find community language resources useful
  • Remember this is a gift for the child and every child is entitled to a pack
  • It's ideal to show at least one of the books to the child – for parents who have not thought about sharing stories, seeing a child’s eyes light up is a very powerful message
  • Refer back to the key messages, keeping them with you to refer to until you are familiar with them
  • For parents who may have low levels of literacy or lack confidence, explain how they can use the books to look at the pictures and chat with their children about what they can see 
  • Recognise that you can use the Bookstart pack as a tool to explore a child’s fine motor skill development, speech and language, comprehension and visual ability
  • Let families know where their nearest library is and when Rhymetime or Storytime sessions are held - they are ideal social occasions for parents/carers and their children
  • Why not encourage parents to visit our website for lots of fun and games online, as well as hints and tips around books and rhymes?
  • Keep it fun and engaging, add your personal message about the magic of books

We know you are busy but spending a few more minutes to get these vital messages across will help the families in your care get the full benefits of the Bookstart packs and support their children on the start of their reading journey.

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