It was one of those mornings where the nap-time stars had aligned and I arrived for the 10am Incy Wincy Rhymers session with a beautifully well-rested and alert little babe. What a perfect place for a happy baby to be. The main activity space is upstairs and is beautifully curated as a place where imaginations can run wild. Amongst the reading nooks and soft seating stand a giant robot and hot air balloon, each surrounded by space to play, explore or snuggle up with a book. For this session multiple play spaces had been laid out with sensory toys, cushions and blankets, all of which was overseen by our two storytellers.
The Incy Wincy Rhymers session for Newborn- 3 year olds began with a chance for free play before the children (and adults) were gathered for a story. The storytellers led the children beautifully through the characters and found opportunities to add in familiar songs and rhymes to encourage interaction across all ages. Afterwards there was more time to explore and a chance to go downstairs to the craft room to complete crafts linked to the theme of the class, which on this week was A.A. Milne. The whole session was very relaxed and you could choose to use the space however you wished. All activity was optional and some children chose to continue playing rather than sit down for the story. By the end of the hour I was cuddled up with Phoebe in an armchair and would have paid good money to stay for the rest of the day. The magic of the space was complemented by the snow outside but I’m just as excited to visit the Storybarn in the brighter weather when we can make our way from the top of the barn to the bottom by slide!
The Storybarn is nestled in the centre(ish) of Calderstones Park and is run by The Reader organisation. Incy Wincy Rhymers (Newborn-3 years) costs £3 per person, children under 12 months go free and The Storyhunters (3-8years) costs £4 per person. The sessions are available Friday-Sunday and it is advised to book in advance online.