Learning in librariesDeveloping young minds

“Babies and toddlers love music and singing - and at that age they’re learning all the time”


Floor Manager, Halton Libraries

Encouraging children’s natural curiosity in a safe space helps them learn new things.

For babies and toddlers, rhymetime and storytime sessions are fun, free ways to learn the building blocks of language. Being around other kids and parents helps them develop early social and emotional skills.

A baby and toddler group at a public library. The parents are playing with their children in a circle.

Most libraries put on free activities for children. As well as rhymetimes and storytimes, you might find LEGO clubs and crafting workshops that help stoke the curiosity of older children.

Map of libraries and services

Find your local public library

Things youngsters love at the library

A baby and carer having fun at a library group activity.


Children can play and create with others at libraries around the country

Children sit at laptops in a room while a female staff member helps them.

Hands-on workshops

Fun ways to explore science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects 

Children and adults enjoy crafts together.


Kids might find board games, card games, chess, storytelling games, even video games…

Four ways to learn more at the library

It’s not just books you can learn from at your library. There’s a wide range of tools and services to help expand your knowledge on a variety of topics and interests. Here are four to explore:

  1. Take part in group fun

    Exposing a youngster to the imaginations and creations of others is a great way to inspire discovery.

    Whether it’s crafting, building with blocks or coloring club, the library is a safe way to help children build their creative muscle and social skills for free.

  2. Vary the times you visit

    Libraries are hives of activity. As well as finding regular free activities to enjoy with the children, pay a visit at a different time to see what else you might find.

    Diane, a volunteer at Sandal library in Wakefield, had a shock when she arrived one day: “I walked in on a normal day only to find a bearded dragon in the library! It was part of a group from a zoo, I think - it was wonderful to see the children enraptured with these exotic creatures.”

  3. Ask a member of staff

    Library staff and volunteers want you to get the most from your library. If you’re not sure what’s on, or what’s most suitable for your child, they’ll be happy to help.

    As Helen in Halton puts it: “If you leave the library with a smile on your face, we know we’ve done our job!”

  4. Let them choose

    “I like letting the kids decide what to explore,” says Rachel in Wakefield. As a safe, contained space the library is a rare indoor spot where children are encouraged to roam and find what interests them.

    And if they find a book they like they can take it home!

“I like letting the kids decide what to explore. My son saw a knitting group and said ‘Mum, I want to learn how to knit’!”


Customer, Wakefield Libraries