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Baby Bounce and Rhyme

Baby and books

Baby Bounce and Rhyme, singing songs and rhymes with accompanying actions has developed into one of the great success stories in libraries over the last couple of years. Based on a strong element of participation, the sessions are both lively and stimulating for babies, toddlers, parents, carers and grandparents alike and introduce a BIG fun element to our work with pre-school children.

The events encourage word and nursery rhyme recognition in an informal environment and allow us to promote libraries as a friendly place to meet. To help support this, free Nursery rhyme cards are available at all our Baby Bounce and Rhyme and Early years Storytime sessions.

Staff across the county have embraced the spirit of Bounce and Rhyme with enthusiasm and revealed a creative, musical talent for others to enjoy.

Liz Roman, who presents Bounce and Rhyme at Exeter Central Children's Library, gives us a taste of one of her events...

"Once we're all ready to start we usually kick off with "Wheels on the Bus", which is always a big favourite, particularly the verse that goes, "the spider on the bus goes, TICKLE, TICKLE, TICKLE"! From then on it's all the old favourties like, "Heads, Shoulders, Knees & Toes", "Row, Row, Row the Boat" and so on. Everyone can throw in a favourite, but we expect them to lead the singing, and suffer the good-humoured backlash from us all if it all goes pear-shaped during the second verse! The babies can't wait for the box of rattles to appear near the end, although letting them choose their own can take a long few minutes. We finish after about 20 minutes, when even the most patient of babies are starting to wriggle."

Broadly speaking, the work involves careful choice of material, musical instruments, space management (lots of buggies!), the use of a large doll or toy for staff "bouncing", and just having fun and throwing away those inhibitions!

Sidmouth Library held a birthday party in July to celebrate the 1st birthday of Bounce and Rhyme at the Library...

"The sessions are run by one of our library assistants Jocelyn Edwards (a former teacher) and they are proving a great hit with Mums, Dads, parents, carers and of course babies and toddlers!  About 40 Mums, babies etc crowded into Sidmouth's Reference Library for the birthday session which was followed by coffee, squash, fairy cakes and balloons! We all had a great time and we shall be continuing the post session coffee from now on."

The number of libraries offering Bounce and Rhyme is still increasing and is helping to introduce children to the world of libraries and books from a very young age. Liz summarises...

"The whole experience is enjoyable and extremely rewarding. Each adult thanks us as they leave, and most babies give us a special smile when they see us."

If you would like to find out if your library is participating in Bounce and Rhyme please see our listing under What's On? or contact Your Local Library, and don't forget, free Nursery Rhyme Cards are available at our Bounce and Rhyme, and Storytime sessions!