Tuesday, 5 April 2016

A Very Busy Book Club

Monkey loves books. And she loves crafts. And she loves playing with her friends.

Last summer we decided to combine the three by setting up a baby and toddler book club with friends. The first one took place at my house. We read The Gruffalo then ate foods from the story, got busy with play dough and designed our own terrible creatures.

We all had lots of fun but it quickly became clear that my house wasn't big enough. We were able to get use of a room at our local children's centre but that meant it wouldn't just be our little group of friends anymore, we would have to open it up to everyone.

So thats what we did! We put posters up locally and more people joined us.

Then the original group of babies got bigger and more and more mums went back to work. I'd already returned to work when book club started so Monday worked for me me but unfortunately not everyone could make it. We kept in going though and seemed to settle for a long time at 5 regulars who were there everytime.

Our local children's centre is changing management and we were a bit worried that being such a small group they might not let us have the room any more. We stepped up the advertising slightly, but only slightly as we wanted to grow slowly and make sure we had enough things for everybody to do. And at first we did grow slowly with one or two new people each time - some came back and some only came for one session.

And then came yesterday! I have no idea what happened but it suddenly exploded. Book Club starts at two but when I got there at quarter to to set up there were already people waiting. We ended up with 15 babies/toddlers in the club and staff said they had to turn others away due to fire regulations.

It was great to see so many people there but it was a little bit overwhelming. I'd only prepared enough things for eight so we had to do some quick prep for the others. I was slightly stressed but everybody seemed to enjoy it. Lots of people said they'd be back and we've had some really great feedback on our facebook page.

This term we are looking at the books that were the mums, dads, grandparents, whoevers favourites when they were small. This weeks book was Peter Rabbit chosen by Mummy Hercules. It was a popular choice with me as I loved the books as a child and Monkey's Granny is slowly buying her the entire Beatrix Potter collection with a book for every event.

We started by reading the story all together and then went on to our activities. I'm a bit bunnyed out after Easter so I decided to go more on the theme of Mr McGregor's garden. I stuck pictures of Mr McGregor onto sugar paper and the children created their gardens by printing with vegetables. We also recreated a garden in the sand pit, planting lots of fruit and veg.

I didn't manage to get many photos as it was so busy but here is Monkey enjoying the paint.

Painting Mr McGregor's garden

Next book club is my book choice and we're reading Dogger by Shirley Hughes.

Nobody else at book club seems to have heard of it but I loved it when I was little. I need to show them what they're missing!

What was your favourite book when you were a child and why?  Maybe we could include it at book club!

Read With Me


  1. I loved a children's rhyme book called tootles the taxi. I read it to my children. I loved the elves and the shoemaker.

    1. We did The Elves and the Shoemaker as part of our traditional tales series.
      I will have to look out for Tootles the taxi