Bookbug Week is taking place this week (15–21 May), encouraging little ones and their families to dance to their favourite songs and rhymes and then cosy up with a story. This year’s theme is Bookbug’s Big Shoogle and the week will focus on the benefits of movement and dance for early years development.
Dance and movement are not only fun for little ones, but play an important role in their development. Movement helps young children to build strength and mobility. The tactile elements of many songs and rhymes help them to learn about different parts of their body.
Bookbug is a national programme run by Scottish Book Trust, a charity changing lives with reading and writing. All children in Scotland receive four Bookbug Bags full of books and activities between their birth and first year of school. Families can also share songs and rhymes in fun Bookbug Sessions in local libraries and community groups and through the Bookbug app. The Scottish Government has been supporting Bookbug since 2010.
This year’s Bookbug Week celebrations will include a partnership with BBC Tiny Happy People, a free-to-use website with fun activity ideas to help support 0–4-year-olds’ speech, language, and communication development. They will be adding some brilliant activity idea films to the Bookbug app for one week only, which highlight the importance of parents and carers talking to their little ones as early as possible. BBC Tiny Happy People will also be joining Glasgow Life at the Mitchell Library on Wednesday 17 May for a day of Bookbug Sessions and fun activity events for families.
Popular children’s entertainers Sprog Rock will be premiering their brand-new music video, featuring children from Forbes Nursery in Leith, on Tuesday 16 May. Also online, Scottish Book Trust is running a competition to win a special selection of 10 books, a musical instrument kit and a space hopper.
There are Bookbug Sessions taking place across the country, with some local authorities putting on extra activities: Aberdeen libraries will be setting up shaker-making stations, science educators Mini Professors will be running sessions in Fife libraries about sound waves, and little ones in South Ayrshire can practice their fine motor skills through robotics app Osmo in their local libraries.
Children and Young People Minister Natalie Don said:
‘I am very excited for this year’s Bookbug Week and their special Bookbug’s Big Shoogle theme. Initiatives like this can help encourage an early love of books among children in addition to providing great opportunities for parents and their wee ones to spend time together whilst having fun and learning.
‘Both reading and being active have multiple benefits for children, including supporting positive mental and physical health, relationships and improved attainment.
‘I’m delighted that the Scottish Government are able to provide increased funding for 2023/24 of £1.8 million for the continuation of the Bookbug programme.’
Marc Lambert, CEO of Scottish Book Trust, said:
‘We’re excited to share Bookbug’s Big Shoogle with families across Scotland this year, celebrating the benefits of movement and dance. Our thanks to Emma Melchor for designing this year’s brilliant Bookbug Week illustration.’