This past weekend we hosted a SummerTime StoryTime Event, For the Love of Reading, with our friends and family. My son and I frequent story times at least 2X a week. Between Barnes and Nobles and the local libraries we have become story time regulars. After leaving Barnes and Noble one day, I thought it would be a little more enjoyable for me and my son if I was able to sit with adults that I knew and for him to play around afterwards with children his age. I love being outside, especially since we’ve been having an unusually ‘springy’ summer here in New York so I thought, let’s give this a try! First person I thought of was Sis. Saajida from @Mommyhood_TRD! I knew she would be a perfect team member for this event: She’s a mother of 2 toddlers, a fellow reader & lover of books, an educator, and an author of MommyHood: The Real Deal For New Moms Gratefully, she said of course she will help and we ran with ideas. My Aunt Joanne, was another ‘Reader’ I chose for the day because she used to read stories to us when we were younger and she just knew how to get into character. My love of reading and books was nurtured through her! The day of the event, we had so much support from family and friends: @ThoseChinSisters and @EnhancedThoughts assisted with the Arts and Crafts Table and @BlackOptics was our photographer!
This event is super easy and super cheap to put together in your neighborhood. I hope to be able to do it again next year!
Interested in how?
1. First Things First…Find a location. We thought a local park would be nice and its free! (All parks differ however, NYC Parks requires a permit for parties of more than 25 people)
2. Create a Flyer. I like to make some of my flyers on canva.com or the app: Hobnob but you can create it however you like. Using eventbrite and a facebook evite assisted with keeping track of how many children might show up so that we could be prepared.
3. Decide the books you would like to read (be sure they are colorful and age appropriate.) If you can find BIG BOOKS, those are easy for the children to see OR you can get multiple books of the same one and have the other readers assist with showing pictures to the children.
4. Have some easy child-friendly songs handy for when the children get fidgety. (Wheels on the Bus, ABC’s, If your happy and you know it etc…)
5. Choose a craft that matches with the story(ies) that were read. Choose a craft that is easy and uses little supplies. ( I got some ideas from http://myboredtoddler.com/50-great-books-for-toddlers/
6. Put together your dope team! You will need “readers“. Good readers who know how to interact with the children! It will also help if you had 1-2 other folks (can be fellow parents) to assist with the arts & crafts, sign ins and/or any other setting up you might need. (Ex: The helpers I had assisted in watching my son, as I was reading). You might also want a designated photographer for your event. ((I used my baby sister)) [IPhone Photographers work just as great]
7. Giveaways (optional) : The local school library donated almost 25 books that we wrapped in Kraft Paper and gave away to the children who attended the story time. The children also received tree seeds that was also donated to us and I purchased these cute Crayon Bubbles, 24 Count from Amazon. Next time I will probably provide mini snacks from BJ’s or Costco.
8. Details: We made sure we had a sign in sheet and photo release form for each child. We created a SNAPCHAT filter for the event. We brought extra blankets for the children to sit on in case they didn’t have their own.
“I think it’s important that reading becomes a part of a child’s daily routine. Anyway that you can find a way to fit it in: reading before bedtime, reading in the car, books on tape, or even just allowing your child to hold on to a book to explore the pictures.”
For more pictures from the event click here