10 Tips for Starting a Baby Book Club

I love my local library’s storytime, but maybe you live far away from the library. Maybe the time of day doesn’t fit you or your child’s schedule. Maybe it’s just too busy and loud and overwhelming for your child.

If so, you might enjoy starting your own baby book club.

Baby Book Club

Every few weeks, I’ll share a new theme for a baby book club, complete with four to five books to read, a few wiggle songs/rhymes, a craft that little toddlers can complete with help, and a snack that goes along with the theme.

In the meantime, here are some tips for starting your own baby book club:

  1. Four to six babies (with their parents) is the ideal number in my mind. You have enough to make it feel like an event, but not so many that you can’t sit around a table or that it’s a madhouse.
  2. Make sure parents understand that they need to stay and be involved throughout the entire thing – you probably don’t want to be wrestling four to six babies on your own.
  3. Aim for about 30-45 minutes total. Too much longer and babies will start to get really restless.
  4. Invite people with babies between 12 and 24 months.
  5. Rotate being in charge (even if it’s always at the same location). Then you aren’t responsible for picking books, preparing craft and snack materials, and being on stage every time.
  6. Generally right after nap-time is a good time for these kinds of events. I personally like 4 p.m. the best, after the second nap, to use up that late afternoon stretch of the day, but before lunch can be a good time too.
  7. Let the parents know you want them to model good listening behavior (our local librarian is always reminding the parents that while she reads the books is not the time for parents to socialize).
  8. It’s better to pick shorter books and do more of them than try to do one or two long books. Most babies just don’t have the attention span to sit through long books at this age.
  9. Break up the reading with activities where babies can move, sing, or stand-up. Too many books in a row will just cause wiggly or restless babies.
  10. Babies love repetition, so feel free to use some of the same books and songs each time.

Any other tricks for running a baby book club?

You can read more of Janssen’s writing at Everyday Reading and on Twitter. She's also on Google+

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