0 to 4 year olds
Bookstart is a national programme that gives free books to every baby in the UK. It also gives guidance for families to inspire, stimulate and create a love of reading. It'll give children a flying start in life.
Sharing books with babies and toddlers helps early language development. It also helps children to understand their world around them. Enjoying books, stories and rhymes together supports emotional wellbeing. It strengthens the bond between parent and child.
This black and white booklet contains high-contrast images. It's designed to engage newborn babies when their eyesight is still developing and stimulate healthy brain connections. This will help support early learning. These are gifted in your baby’s first few weeks. Please ask your Specialist Community Public Health Nurse(SCPHN/Health Visitor) for more details.
Bookstart baby pack
This free gift is for every child in their first year of life. You should receive your book pack at your baby’s 6 to 8 week developmental assessment. If your baby hasn't received their pack please speak to your SCPHN. You could also collect a Bookstart Baby pack from your local library instead.
More resources are there for families who need extra support. This includes dual language books for those with English as an additional language. Bookstart also have sensory packs for children with visual or hearing impairment or fine motor delay. Local Family Centres have a limited number of Early Years packs. These are for children living in the most disadvantaged communities.
The BookTrust Family hub has more resources to help build your child’s reading journey. This includes hints and tips on how you can enjoy sharing books with your child. There are also book recommendations and ideas for fun activities.
Visit the Bookstart baby pack webpage to find out more. You can also contact us online for more details or enquiries.
4 to 5 year olds
We work with local schools to encourage children to develop a lifelong love of reading.
Children aged four to five years old starting full-time school receive a free gift pack containing a story book, parent information and fun activities.
For more information and tips on reading with your child visit the Time to Read website.
5 year olds to teens
We have stories of all kinds, poetry and factual books in our children’s library collections. From Horrible Histories to classic novels, along with the best books from today’s children’s authors too. There’s plenty of choice for readers of all abilities.
If you need help with homework we can recommend books for you to study. You can also use our free online reference resources, either at home or in a library.
Each year we also run the Summer Reading Challenge throughout the summer holidays. With a different theme each year, activities, prizes and points to collect along the way, it’s great fun for readers of all ages.
Our Reading Sparks bags for 8-11 year olds let you explore science activities at home. It contains all the resources you need to complete science experiments including a fabulous book to spark further scientific thinking. Just search for 'Reading Sparks' on our library catalogue to see what we have available.
You can also enjoy our series of children's science videos that are available on Barnsley Libraries YouTube Channel and use the worksheets below to join in from home.
Sessions for new parents
Find out how you and your baby can enjoy books, stories and rhymes together, and how this benefits your child's development, at our Tiny Tots Welcome sessions.
You'll be able to meet other parents, collect your Tiny Tots goody bag and find out about local services for families with young children.
We arrange Tiny Tots Welcome sessions depending on demand; contact us to register your interest in attending a session.