We all know about the importance of engaging parents in storytime. We encourage them to sit with their child, to sing, to stand up and move, to pay attention while we read our books.
But engaging parents shouldn’t end in storytime! We need to engage parents at home as well.
Here’s a few ideas for how to help parents keep up literacy practice at home:
- Create extension activities to send parents home with. My library doesn’t do crafts at our Pajama Storytimes like we do in Storytime. So I came up with these rhyme cards, which re-enforce the rhymes we do at each session. We’ve been adding a card in both languages every month. By the end of the year, parents will have a treasury of songs, fingerplays, and rhymes to share with their little ones.
- For our preschool science program, I’ve been sending parents and kids home with a packet of information: a simple worksheet for parents to do with their children to talk about the concepts we’ve just learned about, a booklist, and a coloring page. You can see a sample packet here, on Color Science.
- And the easiest of all take-homes — books! Make sure to have display space in your programming room. I love this little table because it puts the books right at the child’s hand. It’s also located right by the door which is a great reminder for parents to grab a book or two on the way out.
What ways do you or your library try to engage parents outside of your storytime room? Share your suggestions!
– Katie Salo
Youth Services Manager
Melrose Park Library