3bythree - supporting early learning before the age of three

What is it?

The 3bythree club is a targeted program for children aged 0-3 years which incorporates a resource pack and a library membership card to introduce families to the many activities and services across the City of Unley.

The club aims to encourage families to be active, engaged and aware of the ways in which they can introduce their baby or toddler to learning from birth.

Who can join?


  • Prior to their fourth birthday,
  • Who do not yet have their own library card
  • And will join at either Unley or Goodwood Libraries

If your child meets this criteria, please ask staff for a free 3bythree pack and a membership card for your child. This is only available at Unley and Goodwood Libraries. 

If your child does not meet the above criteria, you are still welcome to use the resources listed below. 

Why does it matter?

Up to 85% of a child's brain development occurs during their first three years. Quality interactions in the early years play a crucial role in shaping children's development, physically changing the way their brain grows. While genetics provide the initial 'map' for development, it is everyday experiences and relationships that shape a child's brain.

Parents, caregivers and family members play an important role in the ongoing development of a child. Providing a safe and caring environment for your child and engaging with them through talking, reading and playtime has a great influence on their early development.

Community and learning environments can also play a key role in supporting optimal development through providing support, learning opportunities and social experiences.

Why the 3bythree grid?

Each resource pack comes with the below 3bythree grid, containing nine activities. The activities have been carefully selected to help develop early literacy skills, grow the bond between parent/caregiver and child and build connection to your local community.

3 by three grid


Download your own copy of the 3bythree grid.(PDF, 994KB)

Books and reading

(Use your membership card to borrow, watch a storytime, have someone read to you)

Sharing books and stories and reading with children helps to build language skills, literacy, imagination, and brain development. Young children may not be reading yet, but sharing books helps them build pre-literacy skills, such as knowing what a book is, how to turn pages, recognising words, and building a love of reading. When reading with your child, point to the words as you read, ask questions, relate things in the story to things they know, such as a toy, or pet. 

Not sure what books are best? Library staff are specialists in helping choose books and always happy to provide a recommendation or help you with selection. 


Songs and rhymes

(Watch a Storytime online, attend Babytime or Wriggletime)

Songs and rhymes are an important part of early literacy learning. Repetition, rhythm and rhyme all help children develop language and literacy skills, providing a foundation for future learning. They allow your child to hear words, learn to recognise them, and to distinguish different sounds that make up language. They're also fun, which increases the child's enjoyment of learning. 

Not sure what songs or rhymes to use? Check out the Libraries' collection, attend a Babytime, Wriggletime or Storytime program to learn new songs, or browse the Unley Libraries Spotify collections.



(Visit the Unley Toy Libraries, visit a local playground, make a craft with your child, visit the Unley Swimming Centre, get active in Unley)

Play is essential to a child's development and central to how they learn. It helps them to explore their environment and experiment with the things around them - all of which help create neural pathways and connections in their brain which are important for learning. 

Interacting with toys, crafts and their environment helps children develop motor skills, spatial awareness and creativity. 

Outside play is important not only for creating pathways and connections in the brain, but also for creating a love of the outdoors and nature, increasing health and wellbeing. 

The Unley Toy Libraries has a carefully curated selection of toys to help with child development - plus, borrowing toys helps reduce landfill!