Let me tell you about my book club… for babies

May 23 | Guest post by S.
Baby Book Club
Photos by S.

Once a month, a handful of my friends meet up at our friend's house for our babies book club. We still refer to it as "baby book club" even though there's no denying that our children aren't babies anymore. They're energetic, willful, spirited two-year-olds who run, laugh, fight over toys, and keep us constantly on our toes. They're also two-year-olds who love to be read to. Like most toddlers their age, they love to be held on our laps while listening to stories and looking at colorful and beautiful picture books.

My friend S. started this book club almost a year ago and we've been meeting monthly ever since.

You can read more about the inspiration for the book club on the official book club website, maintained by S., who started and runs the whole thing. She's truly the mastermind behind all of this and we're all so grateful to her for planning and organizing it. You can also "like" our book club Facebook page for updates on books we're reading, activities we're planning, and links to the photo posts on the blog. The book club basically works like this:

Baby Book Club

  • We have a list of books we're reading each month so that we know ahead of time which books we'll need and when.
  • We talked to our local library's children's librarians and they generously pull together and hold for us as many copies of each month's book as they can (so that no one is forced to buy the book if they don't want to)
  • We share the books before the meeting and at the meeting (so it's no big deal if someone doesn't get a copy)
  • We read the books at home with our children ahead of time so that they come to know and love each month's book
  • We meet at a regular time and day each month in the morning (this allows for the working moms and daycare kids to still join in before going in to work/daycare a bit late on that one day)
  • We each bring a food item and a craft supply to pull together all the items needed for each month's activity and snack (we email coordinate this ahead of time)

AND THEN:

  • We read the book together as a group
  • We do an activity based on the book
  • We create a snack based on the book
  • We eat together, hang out, then part ways

Baby Book Club

Our baby book club has been a highlight of my month ever since it started. I would encourage any group of parents interested in doing something similar to get a group together and read a book each month with your kids. Your group can be as informal/big/small/organized as you want it to be. For our group, we've reached that magic number of just enough kids that it works without being overwhelmingly chaotic. It also helps that our kids are roughly the same age so that the same type of activities and books appeal to them. The oldest child in our group right now is just a little over two years old and the youngest will turn two in September.

Baby Book Club

When we set the book schedule for the year, everyone chimed in with books they loved and we collaboratively determined our reading list. We tried to match books to the seasons thematically, ie: reading about fall and apples in September and about snow and winter in December. During October's meeting, we brought all the kids dressed up in their Halloween costumes and we read Where Is Baby's Pumpkin? by Karen Katz.

Baby Book Club

Do you have something like this in your community? It's never too early to create readers and lovers of literature! If you don't have something like this where you live, how about starting a baby book club yourself?

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  1. Oh man! One of my new year's resolutions was to start or join a book club. Now I'm thinking it might have to be this kind!

  2. Please steal this idea and create baby book clubs in your communities! I love being a part of this book club with my child and am happy to inspire other parents to create something similar.

    We also recently started a "Baby Book Club Pals" component to our group with the idea that not every parent can afford to buy books, healthy snacks, and craft/activity supplies for their children. We go through a local community organization that pairs us up with a low-income family each month and we donate a goodie bag to them that contains the book we read that month as well as instructions and supplies for the snack and craft/activity we made themed to the book. You can read more about that on the Baby Book Club site, which is written by my friend S, aka "Baby Book Club Mama," who also spearheaded the whole giving initiative.

    https://babybookclub.jux.com/

  3. I love this…and I love what this can grow into. If a group like this is consistent, when the kids are older, it can be a parent/child book club reading age-appropriate books & discussing them together.
    It would allow for the parents & children to feel comfortable discussing the deeper/important aspects of the book in a comfortable environment with peers/friends! (People they've grown up reading with their whole lives.)

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