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  • Writer's pictureMike Douglas

Rhyme Time Fridays

Updated: Sep 29, 2023

Over the last month we’ve been visiting our local library every Friday for baby & toddler rhyme time. I’ve enjoyed it way more than expected, and thought I’d take a moment to share what it is and why I’m enjoying it.

What is rhyme time?

Rhyme time is a free 30 minute session run by our local library staff and volunteers at Fareham Library. While I would suggest there isn’t as much rhyming as you might expect, there’s a lot of songs to singalong, signalong and rattle our instruments to. The songs include some recognisable nursery rhymes and some that are new to me.

Play and music are really important in early baby/ child development (Here's an insight from UNICEF - here), so it's great to have something organised that helps to build these things into social activities and not just something we only do at home.

Having the prompt of an activity away from home is also great because you do not have the distractions of home or work around you. Which can really help you to be present and interact with your baby. Depending on your level to social enjoyment, there's also the space to meet and chat to other parents and carers.

This is one session in a program of free activities the library host. The other sessions include things like language club, poetry, and colouring for adults and the more baby/ child focused stay and play, construction club and story time.

Another benefit of this activities programme is that it's in a space you can become familiar with. Which makes a big difference when travelling with a baby.

Why I’m enjoying it…

Now I’m back at work my time with Henry already feels quite limited. Being at work also means my opportunities to get involved with baby activities and groups is limited as they often seem to be in the week.

That’s one of the reasons why I’m so pleased I booked the Fridays in September and October off work. This has meant I have that extra full day with Henry. Which feels so important, particularly at this early stage. Plus, having a weekday off means I’m able to take him to an activity.

I look forward to this free 30 minute session of songs with Henry all week. And with a limited number of Fridays off remaining I’m doing my best to make the most of them and this extra time together.

The library

I’ve been amazed at how much goes on at the library (for free). And, the range of other activities at nearby libraries. I would definitely recommend visiting your local library to see what’s going on.

When we registered Henry’s birth we registered him for the Hampshire library service; and this week Laura got his card and took out his first books. We were very excited about this, and enjoyed the variety in his first books.

I did query that Henry gets credit for reading books, when actually I’m reading them and he’s just listening. Not sure about that, (chuckling) will I be getting a mention on that reading certificate?

I would also add the staff and volunteers we have seen/ spoken to have been very welcoming and friendly. Including introducing us to all the library activities Henry might enjoy.

The second month

This second month of being a parent has been very different to the first. Getting used to working again and balancing different things like the podcast, going to the gym, seeing friends. It all takes more time to work out now. The cost of things is also really noticeable. So having regular activities provided in a safe and accessible environment like those provided by the library make a real difference.

I have noticed how much having set activities with Henry, like rhyme time, make to my wellbeing. While I only have limited Fridays off, and will miss rhyme time in future, I'm loving and grateful for this first activities we are having together. And, I'm already looking forward to seeing what we can do next.

Plus, we've got Henry's library card now. So watch out reading challenge certificate printers.

A big recommendation to check out your local library. If like me you are in Hampshire you can do that here.

I'm already looking forward to next Friday. We might even discover a new book to add to our reading list.


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