THEATRE performances, a teddy bears picnic and story times are among the activities on offer during Under 5s Week at North Yorkshire libraries.

From February 28 to March 5, the county’s library service is hosting free events aimed at encouraging preschoolers to develop a love of books.

Highlights include performances by Hoglets Theatre of their one-woman storytelling show, The Hare in the Moon, filled with music and puppetry.

Northallerton library is holding Imagination Gaming sessions, Eastfield library is running a mini-computer club and Harrogate library is holding a baby yoga and massage session. Most libraries will host story times, rhyme times and various craft sessions.

There will also be a large collection of Family Matters books for parents and carers which contain useful tips from weaning to improving behaviour.

County Councillor Greg White, Executive Member for Libraries, said: “Developing a love of books and reading in the early years is key to a child’s future success. Reading to your child increases their vocabulary, develops their imagination and builds their self-esteem.

"This generation of preschoolers have missed out on many early learning opportunities so celebrating Under 5s Week is more important than ever. Please get involved and help your little ones develop essential skills including listening, asking questions, taking turns and following instructions.”