Bookbug Toddler Bag

Thank you for your support in giving out the Bookbug Bags. We need to ensure that every child receives a Bookbug Bag and that parents and carers are given consistent messages about book sharing. We hope that you find the information below useful when giving out the bags.


How are the Bookbug Toddler Bags given to families?

The Bookbug Toddler Bag is given by health visitors or members of a health visiting team when a child is between 12 and 24 months. Most libraries also have a small stock of the bags available.

Parents do not have to register and do not have to join the library to receive the Bookbug Toddler Bag.


Gifting the Bookbug Bags: Awareness Sessions for Health Staff

We can provide a free 1-hour awareness session for health visiting teams who give out the Bookbug Baby and Toddler Bags. This session explores the contents of the Bookbug Bags in-depth and discusses how they support bonding and attachment, language and literacy development, and overall good health.

For more information, see our Training Courses page or to set up a training session for your health team, please contact or phone 0131 541 2342.


Download a copy of the Gifting Advice Sheet for Baby and Toddler Bags, which includes key messages to pass on to parents


Why do we give out the Bookbug Toddler Bag?

The Bookbug Toddler Bag is a fantastic way to encourage parents and carers to share books, songs and rhymes with their child. This can help with bonding and attachment and also children’s learning and development. The Bookbug Toddler Bag aims to boost a child's language building, mark making and listening skills with fun and engaging books and materials. Give families simple key messages to help motivate them to use each of the resources in their Bookbug Toddler Bag. Please have a good look at what’s inside the Bookbug Bags and show them to parents. The contents change every year so the bag contents may vary.

The Bookbug Toddler Bag includes:

  • Three picture books - These beautiful books have been specially selected by a panel of Early Years experts as well as being tested with families. The Bookbug Toddler Bag books have slightly longer stories for families to enjoy sharing together.
  • Bookbug Toddler CD - This CD is packed full of songs and nursery rhymes for families to enjoy. Some of the songs and rhymes can also be heard at local Bookbug Sessions. You can download the tracks here.
  • My Bookbug Toddler Pad - This notepad is perfect for little hands eager to draw and make their mark on the world!
  • Bookbug Crayons - This box of 8 chunky crayons in a range of bright colours is perfect for little artists in the making.
  • My Bookbug Song and Rhyme Book - This booklet is packed full of songs and nursery rhymes for parents and children to enjoy. The songs and rhymes can also be heard at local Bookbug Sessions.
  • Bookbug Height Chart - The Bookbug Toddler Height Chart is beautifully illustrated by Nick Sharratt and is a lovely way to record how little ones grow. There are also lots of book, song and rhyme recommendations throughout the chart. 
  • Bookbug alerts sign-up form - Bookbug alerts let a parent know when their next Bookbug Bag is due as well as providing them with reading tips and book recommendations.
  • All contents come in a sturdy canvas bag. 

Please note: The Bookbug Baby and Bookbug Toddler Bags have long handles, as they are intended for use by parents. Babies and young children should not be left unsupervised with them.


“If we want the packs to have an impact we need to communicate our own enthusiasm and our belief that they are important ... We’ve found that parents and grandparents love to share memories of their own favourite childhood stories and often don’t realise that a simple activity like reading a story or singing a rhyme can have such a profound effect

Alison Smith, Stanwell Nursery

“The analysis of our data highlighted the fact that it was not just the giving of the pack in itself, but the taking on of the philosophy which impacted on the children’s literacy development.”

“Planting a Seed for Life”, University of Surrey Roehampton, Collins and Stevenson (2005)



Wooden egg shakers in Bookbug Toddler Bag

Wooden Egg Shaker

Wooden egg shakers have been included in recent Bookbug Toddler Bags as musical instruments for parents and carers to use when singing and rhyming with their toddler. A very small number of incidents have been reported to us of egg shakers being broken (4 out of 45,000 distributed). The breakages happened when naturally occurring small knots in the wooden shell became loose.

The egg shakers were tested at manufacturing stage and passed British Safety Standard tests (EN 71-1:2014, EN 71-1:2014 - Safety of toys - Specification for Mechanical and physical properties). Following the 4 reported incidents, Scottish Book Trust had the eggs independently retested and again, the eggs passed these standards. However, due to variances in the natural wooden material, we are aware that a very small number of eggs will contain knots which could be problematic if they came loose whilst in the toddler’s hands. Given this situation, we have decided with regret to take the following actions:

Please remove these items from the Bookbug Toddler Bag before gifting the bag to families:

Shaker and leaflet

Any bags distributed to local authorities from December 2016 will not contain the egg shakers.


What to do if you have already gifted bags containing an egg shaker

Parents who have already received the egg shaker can dispose of it

If parents choose to continue to use the egg shaker, please reiterate that the egg shaker is a musical instrument not a toy and therefore should only be used with adult supervision, not left unattended with the child.


Download the Advice for NHS Health Boards, Local Authorities and Library Services (PDF)

Download the information poster for parents and carers (PDF)


If you have any queries about this information please email or call 0131 524 0179.