When I decided to take a break from doing traditional bilingual storytimes, I knew that I still wanted to offer some Spanish language programming. In January I planned a Family Fiesta for the end of April as a celebration of Día de los Niños, complete with a salsa tasting and a piñata. Even though since then I’ve moved to another library, I went back for this awesome party!
This Family Fun Night was held at a local elementary school for the Head Start class. This year they have a high number of Hispanic kids and I love doing bilingual storytime with this group.
The Head Start Family Fun Nights always start with a free dinner, and families that need transportation are bussed to the school. Rather than just a storytime, the teacher wanted something for this event that would really encourage parent/child playing and interactions as well as literacy. Some of her kids never play (or read) with their parents, and she wanted to provide an opportunity for play and learning for both parents and kids. So I came up with a super easy and fun Not a Box program!
For our first Family Fun Night of the year, we had a night of science! I moved the time slightly later in the evening, and changed how we marketed the program, so I had no clue how many people or what ages to expect. But it was great! We had large group, and families with kids ranging from 1 to 10. The best part was watching the parents engage with the kids as they worked through the different activities.
This fall, I’ve re-vamped my app storytime into Appy Hour! I’m experimenting with different times for evening programs, and families are invited to bring a picnic dinner and eat during the program.
I think I saw this idea first from Abby, and then somewhere else, and the next thing I knew it was a big thing and I wanted it. I decided to hold our Family Fort Night after hours on a Friday night, and I was pretty nervous because I haven’t had huge success with evening programs.
This fall I’m revamping my evening programs and trying out a different time in the hopes of being able to reach a bigger audience. One of these programs is Family Fun Night, a monthly program with a different theme/activity each month for families and kids of all ages. First up, drive in movies! Each kid made their own cardboard box car (some with help from parents), and then we had popcorn while watching a few Disney short films on the big screen.