I introduced our library role play area into Pop Up Play Village in November 2017 as I felt that it is important for young children to develop a love for books and what a great way to do this in a role play library.

Every time I have set up the role play library, children are swarming around it. The library lanyards have quite a large part in catching the children’s attention. I chose to put the library cards on lanyards because firstly, I thought that they could be an item that could get lost easily but also because I found some super cool children’s lanyards which feature frozen, toy story, cars etc on them! The children pick up the lanyards and then the amazing till is usually spotted next! I knew I needed a really cool till where children could scan library books and swipe their library cards to check their books out. I found a fab till that does this and it has not let me down. This till is by far the most popular till in the play village! We get children waiting to jump in and use it when the opportunity arises. I have seen tantrums arise from having to wait to use this till! It has a red light when scanning books, it beeps and it allows children to swipe their library cards. What could be better than this in a till!

The till and the lanyards are definitely the children’s draw to this play area. Once they have discovered these, they realise that they need to choose books in order to experience this area further. When choosing books for this area, it was made easy for me due to the quality and wide selection of board books that Usborne books offer. Not only do they offer a great selection of board books, I found that they offered board books that were not just aimed at young children. I wanted board books specifically so that the books would last and not get damaged and I wasn’t disappointed. Being a role play village that caters for babies through to eight years old, I knew it was so important to have a variety of books to target different age groups. Some of our explorers can read so we have books that they can read and enjoy by themselves or with others. For babies, we have touchy feely books as well as books in black and white. When designing this area, I also felt that there should be an even mixture of fiction and non- fiction books as it is important for young children to differentiate and learn about different types of books.

On top of all of this, this area features our cosy reading area which can be used to share books with our grown ups or friends or quietly by ourselves. It is an area where I have seen children immersed in the enjoyment of reading a book which is exactly what I wanted to achieve…an area where children can develop a love of books which ultimately will get them wanting to read.

Written by Becky Hoare, Creator of Pop Up Play Village