Library services for under fives

Visit our Mischief Makers page to find out more about our Summer Reading Challenge for 4 - 11 year olds, starting 14 July 2018.


Our regular programme of activities for under-fives is taking a break over the summer. July and August  has a  full programme of fun events and activities for children. Details of activities suitable for babies and toddlers 

Your baby or toddler can:

  • Attend a range of learning activities in Barnet Libraries.
  • Join the library and have their very own library card.
  • Borrow up to 10 books for 3 weeks from our fantastic selection of board and picture books. Fines do apply for overdue books.

Library activity sessions

Barnet Libraries run an exciting programme of regular activity sessions for under-fives. Our sessions are for either babies or toddlers. If you have a baby and a toddler with you please come along to a toddler session. Our current activity programmes can be downloaded below. 


Babies are never too young to start sharing books and rhymes, which is why we run Baby Rhyme Time and Baby Bounce and Play sessions for non-walkers.

Baby Bounce and Play is a 45 minute session which combines rhymes, songs and a story with a variety of different sensory experiences from one of our themed sensory boxes. Sessions are run by our specialist early years team and cost £3.50 per baby on a pay-as-you-go basis. Regular Baby Bounce and Play sessions run in school term time only.

Sessions are currently running at Chipping Barnet Library, Colindale Library, Edgware Library and Finchley Church End Library. For futher information and the full program of events, please click on the relevant link at the bottom of the page.

Baby Rhyme Time is FREE library activity for babies run by your local library staff.

Please search our events directory for a session running near you or download the programme at the bottom of this page.


Once your baby is walking, he or she can have loads of fun at our toddler sessions, which support multiple areas of learning and development.

Toddler Time is specially designed for inquisitive and active toddlers! The themed sessions run during term time and cost £3.50 per child.

Sessions are currently running at Colindale Library, Edgware Library and Finchley Church End LibraryFor futher information and the full program of events, please click on the relevant link at the bottom of the page.

Toddler Read and Rhyme is a FREE library activity for toddlers run by your local library staff. Please download the programme below to find out where Toddler Read and Rhyme is running near you.

Creative Play is for active toddlers and it combines creative activities (including messy ones) with a story and a singing session. Sessions are run at Chipping Barnet library by our specialist early years team and cost £5.50 per child. Please note we can only accept cash and please bring the correct money. This activity runs in self - service hours. Early years staff will be able to admit you at the first visit but you will need to sign up for self-service access to the library for subsequent visits.

For more information about our activity sessions, you can join our early years mailing list. Email us at and we will add you to the mailing list for information about regular activities, events and library services for under-fives. Alternatively, please check our events directory or download the activity programme below.

For pictures of our sessions find us on Facebook and Twitter.


Bookstart is a national scheme bringing books and small children together. More details can be found at

Baby Bookstart Packs

Distributed by health visitors or nursery nurses working in baby clinics, but are also available from your local library.

Bookstart Treasure

Bags are distributed by pre-school settings and nursery classes. If you live in Barnet but your child won't be attending a nursery or pre-school in the borough, please ask at your local library or contact

Special Bookstart Packs are available for children with additional needs. Please contact if you have a child who is deaf, has a visual impairment or has disabilities which impact on or delay the development of their fine motor skills.

Nurseries, pre-schools and schools

The specialist early years team offer a rhyme and story based activity service to nurseries, pre-schools and schools in Barnet. This is a professionally delivered service and charges do apply. Please contact for more information.


The Early Years Team regularly runs training courses for teachers, early years practitioners and library staff. If you are interested in finding out more about our training courses please e-mail


Early Years and Bookstart Coordinator
North London Business Park (NLBP)
Oakleigh Road South, London N11 1NP
Tel:  020 8359 7771

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