Last updated: Wednesday 9 June 2021. Please note that this guidance may change at short notice, so please check this page regularly.
Face-to-face Bookbug Sessions are resuming, either outdoors or indoors, adhering to Scottish Government guidance. Anyone engaging with more than one family with Bookbug activities at one time should refer to the Bookbug Sessions Coronavirus guidance.
This guidance is intended to support the safe delivery of Bookbug for the Home activities. In the first instance, please refer to the Scottish Government COVID-19 guidelines for your area at all times, along with the health and safety policies for your own organisation. In some cases this may mean that it is not possible to run in-person Bookbug for the Home activities, in which case you might want to consider if running a digital Bookbug for the Home session might be appropriate for this family. We will continue to monitor national guidance and update information relating to Bookbug for the Home activities as and when required. You should monitor guidance for your local area and ensure your knowledge is up to date.
Scottish Government Coronavirus (COVID-19) guidance
Key guidance documents from Scottish Government
- Coronavirus in Scotland(this will open in a new window)
- Coronavirus (COVID-19): timetable for easing restrictions(this will open in a new window)
- Coronavirus (COVID-19): one to one support and support groups(this will open in a new window)
- Coronavirus (COVID-19): organised activities for children(this will open in a new window)
- Coronavirus (COVID-19): organised activities for children: Drama and music(this will open in a new window)
- Coronavirus (COVID-19): Advisory Sub-Group on Education and Children’s Issues – advice on physical education and expressive arts(this will open in a new window)
Below are some excerpts from the Scottish Government guidance specifically in relation to singing that will be relevant to planning Bookbug for the home activities.
Please visit the Scottish Government website(this will open in a new window) (this will open in a new window)for the most up to date advice around Coronavirus in Scotland.
"A number of activities for children including singing, are known to have many benefits. However, singing, especially in large groups, is considered a higher risk activity at present because of the potential for aerosol production and the absence presently of developed scientific analysis to assess this specific risk.
Some of the risk is reduced if the activity is taken outdoors. It will be up to each individual group/organisation/service provider to consider how or if this can be done safely." From Coronavirus (COVID-19): organised activities for children: Drama and music(this will open in a new window).(this will open in a new window)
“However, the sub-group recognises that children sing naturally in the course of activities and play, and should not be discouraged from doing so, and that singing can also be used to comfort young children when necessary.” From Coronavirus (COVID-19): early learning and childcare (ELC) services: Singing, music and drama (this will open in a new window)
While the above web links will help you find most of the relevant guidance, there will likely be more specific information for your type of organisation and location. You should consider all of the relevant guidance for your particular circumstance and conduct a COVID-19 Health and Safety Risk Assessment, as determined by your organisation, before planning to run a Bookbug for the Home activities.
If someone displays symptoms of COVID-19 during a session you should follow your local COVID health and safety procedures.
Planning your in-person Bookbug for the Home visit
If you are meeting up with families in person you will need to make sure you comply with:
- The current guidelines as set out by the Scottish Government for your area’s local protection level (see section above)
- Your organisation's Coronavirus health and safety policies
Below is a list of things you might need to consider when planning your Bookbug for the Home visit. Your organisation’s own risk assessment process will cover much more detail on keeping everyone safe, but these are some specific safety precautions you might want to consider when delivering Bookbug for the Home activities:
- It might be helpful to explain to families that things will look a bit different but the visit will still be full of Bookbug fun, laughter, rhymes and stories.
- You may need to collect Test and Protect(this will open in a new window) contact details, in line with your organisation’s COVID-19 Health and Safety Risk Assessment.
- While singing indoors is not currently allowed, we would recommend you focus on spoken rhymes and stories as part of your visit. Did you know we have over 20 rhymes on our app and Song and Rhyme library that you can use as inspiration? Using rhymes can actually be a great way to engage families if they are nervous about singing. Please reassure the family that if children do start to sing spontaneously that is OK and they don’t need to be discouraged as the Scottish Government Coronavirus (COVID-19) guidance allows this Coronavirus (COVID-19): early learning and childcare (ELC) services: Singing, music and drama. (this will open in a new window)
- You can always play music from the Bookbug app, without singing along, to highlight the benefits of singing with babies and young children for their development. Please do encourage the family to sing with their children and remind them about our Bookbug Song and Rhymes app, the Song and Rhyme Library and other resources available on our website.
- If your visit is taking place outdoors, your Risk Assessment may determine it is possible to involve some singing but this will be specific to your organisations own COVID-19 health and safety policies and procedures.
- You might have to keep movement songs to a minimum to help maintain social distancing. You can always use a rhyme like Bananas Unite to get families up and moving on the spot without getting too close.
- Props like finger puppets are always great fun but you might need to think carefully about how you use them, as children are always keen to take hold of them! When using your Bookbug doll for modelling for example, you might want to tell the children that Bookbug is feeling shy today and doesn’t feel like having lots of cuddles so will be staying with you.
- We know how much everyone loves the Lycra/sparkly blankets but unfortunately it is not recommended to use Lycra at the moment, as this can disrupt social distancing. You could suggest that the family use something like their own scarf during rhymes - they are always great for peekaboo type games and also offer another sensory experience for little ones.
Bookbug for the Home Refresher Training
If you haven’t delivered Bookbug for the Home for a while, you might benefit from attending Bookbug for the Home Refresher Training. Sign up for our regular Working with Bookbug newsletter to be notified when new dates are available.
We have a range of resources available to support you with delivering Bookbug for the Home during the Coronavirus pandemic, including webinars and training, ideas for online sessions and our Song and Rhyme Library and Bookbug App.
If you have any questions or comments please contact the Early Years team at firstname.lastname@example.org.(this will open in a new window)