Bookbug Week celebrates the joys and benefits of early years reading
‘It’s not just about reading, it’s about building strong family relationships’
The total recall most of us have for song lyrics from our youth tells you all you need to know about how the human brain receives songs. So it’s no surprise that when it comes to preparing pre-schoolers for the enormity of learning to read, the Scottish Book Trust (SBT) reach for a rhyme. ‘We know how important songs and rhymes are for later on in helping young children learn to read,’ says Catriona Wallace, Head of Early Years at SBT. ‘The rhythm and repetition in songs really help with a child’s development. They’re often the thing children remember most from their earliest experiences.'
Held across Scotland in libraries and community centres, SBT’s Bookbug sessions are a lively mix of stories and songs, designed to ignite a love of books in little ones. Bookbug Week celebrates what goes on throughout the year, but cranks it up a gear by adding in a special theme. ‘There are events in every local authority across Scotland, which are listed on the SBT website,’ explains Wallace. ‘There will be songs, rhymes, stories and other activities, all on the theme of Bookbug’s Big Sports Day to tie-in with that important sporting event happening this summer.’
Aimed at ages birth to five, most of whom are known for their surplus energy, Bookbug sessions are active affairs, helping grown-ups to see that stories, songs and rhymes don’t have to be read sitting down, or just happen at bedtime. Crucially, the sessions are about adults and children sharing what books have to offer.
‘It’s not just about reading, it’s about building strong family relationships,’ says Wallace. ‘We know that when a child is reading or singing a song with their parents or carer, this is when a lot of brain development happens in terms of speech, language and fine motor skills. It’s a really important time and everything we do encourages these things.’
Various venues, Scotland, Mon 19–Sun 25 May.