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Gifting Bookbug Explorer Bags

Advice for Early Years professionals on gifting the Bookbug Explorer Bag

Bookbug session leader giving a little boy his Explorer Bag

The Bookbug Explorer Bag is gifted to 3-year-old children in their ante-preschool year at nursery. The bag includes books and materials to encourage parents and carers to talk, cuddle, sing and share stories and rhymes with their children from birth.

Early years professionals have a very important role in discussing the benefits of songs, stories and rhymes with mums, dads and carers when gifting the Bookbug Bags.

Please have a good look at what’s inside the Bookbug Explorer Bag before gifting them. The contents change every year.

Effective Explorer Bag Gifting

Build the excitement with parents, carers and children

Get children really excited about their gift from Bookbug. Build the excitement a few days before you gift the bags by reading the books. Decide with the children how you’d like to celebrate gifting the books and plan an event – make sure to invite parents or carers. When the bags have gone home, you can use our free online resources to continue reading and singing together.

Involve parents and carers

You could hold a special exploration themed story session. If families can’t be there, make sure they know that their 3-year-old will be taking home a special gift from Bookbug. Let parents and carers know that the Explorer Bag contains activities they can do with their child.


Read the books and follow the children’s interests – you could explore places, foods, beasties or new objects. You could have a scavenger hunt, or a good walk around your nursery play space or a local park to see what the children can find.

Involve your local library

Many local libraries are happy to arrange special story and song sessions to help you gift the Explorer Bag. Contact your local library to ask what support they can give. Invite parents and carers to come along to the library with their child and encourage them to sign their child up for a library card and borrow some books.

Key messages for mums, dads and carers

Families will be more likely to use the resources in the Bookbug Bags if you talk to them about the benefits of sharing books before and after gifting the bag.

Please tell them:

Talk about libraries

Please talk about libraries to encourage families to:

Getting more bags

To order Bookbug bags for your setting, request tactile books for any families you work with, or have any questions about your local Bookbug programme, please get in touch with your local Bookbug Co-ordinator.

Bookbug Explorer Bag Resource Kit

In March 2020, every Early Years Setting in Scotland will receive one Bookbug Explorer Resource Pack to help them plan their Explorer activities and gifting events. The resource packs include –

Bookbug Explorer Handbook and Learning Resources

Browse our Bookbug Explorer Handbook(this will open in a new window) and learning resources (this will open in a new window)to help you get the most from the bags in your setting. Please check with your Bookbug Co-ordinator which books will be in the bags you receive as it’s not always the most recently released set.

Training for early years settings

Our online Bookbug Explorer Bag webinars support the gifting and use of the Bookbug Explorer Bag in your setting. You can watch a recorded version of the webinar or chose to attend a live webinar. Find out more about this and other training options.

Families with additional support needs

CALL Scotland have created symbolised resources to accompany the Bookbug Explorer Bag for children with additional support needs, available on the  Symbols for All website(this will open in a new window). (this will open in a new window)and in our learning resources section(this will open in a new window). Bookbug can also provide tactile books(this will open in a new window) in addition to the four free Bookbug Bags. Request these from your local Bookbug Co-ordinator.

Gaelic Bookbug

Gaelic versions of the Bookbug Bags are available for interested families and for children in Gaelic Medium Education, and should be gifted alongside the English versions. Request these from your local Bookbug Co-ordinator.

Alternatively, contact the Scottish Book Trust Early Years team on 0131 524 0179, email bookbug@scottishbooktrust.com(this will open in a new window).