Skip links and keyboard navigation

Parents' and primary caregivers' toolkit

First Five Forever Calico bag

The purpose of this toolkit is to provide the parents and primary caregivers of children aged five and under with quality resources, information and encouragement.

The toolkit elements are multimodal and flexible and can be ordered separately to suit your local needs and budget, and have been designed to better enable library and partner agency staff to engage in conversations with parents about the importance of regular interaction, language, nursery rhymes, song, shared storytelling and all things emergent literacy. Parents can be provided with the different toolkit elements and consistent messages across multiple points in time.

Download the Parents' and primary caregivers' toolkit (PDF 885 KB)

First 5 Forever calico bag contains Library Context Parent/Caregiver Context

I’m a Dirty Dinosaur by Janeen Brian and Ann James

Im a dirty dinosaur

Humorous text that encourages interaction and language including rhyme, vocabulary and a basic narrative structure

Endorsed by Children’s Book Council of Australia (CBCA). 2014 Speech Pathology Australia Book of the Year.

Bath time hand puppet

Bath time hand puppet

Encourages play, interaction and storytelling in an environment where there are few distractions and one-on-one adult supervision is already occurring.

It's Rhyme Time DVD and book

It's Rhyme Time DVD + book

A nursery rhyme and story DVD that introduces an alternate modality whilst reinforcing key language messages. It is fun for children encouraging active participation.

Nursery Rhyme Frieze*

Nursery Rhyme Frieze

Display as an attractive visual reminder. One frame will also display messages around the importance of language and emergent literacy and will act as a prompt to library staff when talking with families.

Information brochure handout*

Information brochure handout

A brochure that outlines key language and emergent literacy messages, further information and community service contacts.

The bag contains a range of quality elements that have been specifically chosen to reinforce the First 5 Forever messages and be easily used by families within the home and community environment.

The contents need to engage curiosity and be fun and easy to use with children 0–5 years. Four items will enable purposeful conversations with families about how each element can be used at home.

The toolkit can be provided at; library programs or activities, exchanged for the postcard following community events, ante-natal or new parents groups or during outreach programs that are aimed at connecting with parents and primary caregivers who may not have access to information or informal learning opportunities.

Families will be encouraged to engage in ‘shared reading’ and this book encourages interaction, actions, new vocabulary and is appealing to young children.

The bath time component is a safe, easily adaptable element for families to encourage talking, singing and playing with their child. Bath time is a regular routine for young children and can be reinforced as a fun time for interaction.

This DVD provides interactive nursery rhymes and stories that families will be encouraged to participate in with their child but also has a range of messages for families.

The frieze provides a link between library programs and home activities; helps families, including CALD families to remember the words to common nursery rhymes and reinforces through a visual reminder the message around families singing and engaging in rhymes at home. If displayed at home, it may act as a point of interest to the child allowing them to initiate and request songs.

The brochure will reinforce the important role that families play in their child’s development before they start formal education programs such as kindy and school.


Additional elements* Library Context Parent/Caregiver Context

Green Sheep by Mem Fox and Judy Horacek*

Green Sheep by Mem Fox and Judy Horacek

Miniature board book with pram attachment to support the concept of interaction, talking and sharing stories every day and anywhere!

Offers a well-known children’s book specifically in a format for babies and toddlers. It can be provided to families on its own or in any combination to reinforce the message that anytime is a good time for sharing stories and talking with young children.

This book reinforces to families that sharing stories does not need to occur only at home or in a formal learning environment.

Let’s Play by Ali Durham

Lets play by Ali Durham

An interactive story which highlights to parents and primary caregivers how they can support their child’s language and literacy development through fun games using a simple rhyming story structure.

It may be substituted for I’m a Dirty Dinosaur.

This book is fun and interesting to young children but also has in built messages around the importance of spending time talking, singing and playing with young children.

Let’s Play offers a second book option with messages that could act as a prompt for staff. It could be handed out at story time and baby rhyme time sessions, as an incentive to young borrowers or during outreach activities.

This simple yet interesting children’s book is not only interactive with a rhyming structure but provides ideas on how families can play and interact with their children and reinforces the First 5 Forever messages through its content.



Designed to be used as part of outreach to invite parents and primary caregivers to visit the library to redeem items from the First 5 Forever toolkit and participate in baby rhyme time & story time programs.

The postcard provides an innovative way to initiate conversations with families at community events. It encourages families to visit their local library with the postcard to pickup their free items in the First 5 Forever toolkit. An additional opportunity for further conversation/information occurs when the postcard is exchanged.

The reverse side of the postcard has space for families to provide their contact details (optional) and to answer a small number of key questions. This assists with event evaluation and toolkit use.

The postcard is provided to families at outreach or community events. They are then encouraged to visit their local library with the postcard to pick up their free items. This approach has been found to have a number of benefits including introducing new families to the library and early childhood programs and services, opportunities for multiple conversations with families and links to other community services.

Fridge Magnets

Fridge magnets

A choice of 3 different highly visual fridge magnets produced by ALEA (Australian Literacy Educators Association).

One outlines oral language strategies and two have age-related strategies to encourage shared reading.

The choice of oral language and/or age-specific shared reading strategy fridge magnets offer library staff the opportunity to tailor the information to each family. The fridge magnets can be handed out at the library, following library programs, during book borrowing or at outreach events. The information on the magnets acts as a reminder to staff of key oral language and emergent literacy messages.

Libraries can purchase the number and type that most applies to their context. Some are also available in multiple languages.

These visually appealing magnets can easily be placed on the fridge at home to act as a reminder regarding the importance of oral language and sharing stories or serve as a bookmark for families to refer to when storytelling with their young children at home.



Merchandise items to add colour and life to your First 5 Forever events

Balloons come in packs of green and gold and can be used for visual impact in library programs and outreach activities. They are desirable for young children and will provide an opportunity to have a conversation with families when handing them out.

Provides a visual cue for parents connecting back to the First 5 Forever brand as well as acting as an item of interest for children.

Children’s Tshirts

Children's Tshirts

Size 3 tshirts featuring First 5 Forever branding and messaging

The Tshirt can be added to your toolkit or used in combination with other items. The size fits a range of ages and is a great promotional item for media and special events. Messaging on the Tshirts provide a reminder for parents to talk, read, sing and play. Plus, the text on the Tshirts can serve as prompts for famlies to talk about First 5 Forever and recommend the program to other families.



45mm round stickers in sheets of 24

These bright, colourful stickers have multiple uses. They can be added to First 5 Forever promoted books, used at events or as giveaways. Provides a visual cue for parents connecting back to the First 5 Forever brand.
Last updated
11th July 2017