Gifting the Bookstart Treasure pack

Tips, guidance and ideas for practitioners delivering Bookstart Treasure within early years settings.

Treasure envelope 2

The Bookstart Treasure pack can be gifted to every child aged 3-4. It is typically gifted within nursery and pre-school settings but can also be given to children at libraries and children’s centres.

BookTrust understands that every setting is slightly different, dependent upon location, local authority and type. The information below has been informed by conversations with settings across England and aims to be relevant to all providers gifting Bookstart Treasure.

Planning ahead

Once you have received your Treasure packs, it's a good idea to put a bit of planning into your gifting. Here are some key factors to consider:

  • When is the best possible time to gift the packs to children and families?
  • How can you ensure that your gifting makes a real difference for the families you work with?
  • Become familiar with the contents of the pack and think of any activities or games you could prepare that relate to the book 
  • Use the word ‘gift’ in your planning and messaging to ensure that the process is as important as the pack itself
  • Communicate with parents and carers to ensure that everyone involved understands what the pack is about and what they can do with their child to get the most from it
  • Consider whether any of your children would benefit from an Additional Needs pack or dual language resource alongside their Treasure pack

Find out more about the Bookstart Treasure pack

Building excitement around the Treasure gift with children, parents and carers

  • Holding a special event when gifting adds to the special experience of receiving the pack and ensures that children remember their gift and want to share it with their parents and carers
  • Tell your children what they will be receiving that day or week to build excitement before the event
  • Read the book with your children as a group
  • Include your children in thinking about activities that would match the theme of the book
  • Find out what would get your children excited about their Bookstart Treasure event, perhaps suggesting a number of different options, e.g. pirate-themed, themed with the book, etc
  • Plan the event with your children
  • Invite mums, dads and carers to attend your Bookstart Treasure gifting event

Parents and girls at Sheffield Bookstart event

Some ideas to support your Bookstart Treasure pack gifting

  • Speak to your local library about arranging a setting visit, either to your setting or to theirs. You could invite parents and carers to attend and engage them in a group reading of the book to increase parental confidence
  • Hold a parent/carer visit in your setting for gifting and encourage parents and carers to read with their child in the session
  • Hold a themed event e.g. pirate-themed event incorporating fancy dress, themed treasure hunts and pirate-related crafts. You could theme your event around the book and include a group reading
  • Incorporate your gifting into a parent/carer event, such as a parents evening
  • Use interactive elements such as puppets when reading the book together
  • Invite other settings to come and join your gifting session, sharing activities and stories with parents and carers, engaging them with the pack from the start and building confidence with other parents
  • Incorporate the gifting within National Bookstart Week (June), sharing the Treasure pack as well as all the other resources on offer
  • Arrange a treasure hunt where, at the end, the children find the Treasure packs with their parents
  • Hold a special Rhymetime or Storytime event with parents and carers

Key points to remember when gifting

  • Keep the gifting fun
  • Share the book
  • Share key messaging with parents and carers
  • Ensure parents fully understand why book sharing is important
  • Signpost other services, Rhymetimes and local events which could support your families 
  • If you’re unable to share the pack and messaging with parents or carers at an event, ensure you help the child to share it with them at home

What to consider when gifting

The needs of the child

Assess your children’s needs before the gifting and whether they require any Bookstart Additional Needs packs. Please contact your local Bookstart coordinator to organise this, so that you can gift both the packs together. Also consider any dual language needs within your setting. 

The needs of parents and carers

Always consider the needs of the mums, dads and carers and do not assume that they are completely comfortable with books. Take your time to explain the importance of reading with their child and perhaps hold a group reading session of the Treasure Pack book to help build the confidence of parents and carers. Keep the gifting simple, engaging and fun for both the child and their family. 

 Boy and dad reading together

Key Bookstart messaging for parents and carers

Please talk to mums, dads and carers about the books and resources within their pack. If you talk to them about the benefits of sharing books, songs and rhymes they may be more likely to use their pack at home.

  • You can be 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 is good to enjoy stories, book 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 loving relationship with your child. Everyone in the family can join in - mums, dads, grandparents, brothers, sisters, aunties and uncles
  • Your child will love lots of different kinds of books and will enjoy choosing books for themselves, so why not join your local library. Libraries welcome all ages and are free to join
  • Babies love books with bright, bold pictures and photographs

More to explore...

Bookstart packs

Free books for every child

BookTrust offers a range of packs that you can gift to families as part of the Bookstart programme. Find out how our universal, additional needs and targeted packs can help get your families sharing books together every day.

Reading with your child: 0-12 months

Download the booklet

Babies love looking at pictures and hearing your voice as you read to them. Check out our brilliant guide to sharing books with children aged 0-12 months, available in 22 languages.

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