What are lovemybooks cafés?
Lovemybooks cafes are informal reading workshops for parents or parents and children, led by teaching staff.
Their aim is to support parents in enjoying spending time sharing books with their children using books, ideas and resources on the lovemybooks website.
Here are some top tips to get off to a good start:
- Make sure staff leading the café sessions are very familiar with lovemybooks, our aims to promote enjoyment in reading and our website; how it is organised into age groups or themes, the way the activity pages work and how to find the extra information provided on learning to read and supporting reading.
- Here’s a powerpoint for you to use if you wish
- It can be helpful if one member of staff to take the lead on this, introduces the site to colleagues at a staff meeting and allows time for staff to become familiar with the website and plan their reading café.
- Make sure books which feature on the site will be available for parents to browse during the session and borrow afterwards
- Choose a particular book to focus on during the session and look at our suggested activities and talking points.
- Ensure refreshments are available
- Advertise the session and include the children in promoting it
- Repeat termly
An example lovemybooks session
A half session with parents only and a half session with children present, based on Hill Mead school reading cafes
- Parents enter room, tables set out like a café with cloths if possible and books from the lovemybooks collection relevant to the age group
- If available ipads could be provided so parents could start to browse the site straight away
Part one: introduction
Introduces the lovemybooks website to parents.
Model reading a book aloud and how to talk about it, for example pausing to talk about the pictures or the story. Useful questions are modelled eg which is your favourite page or illustration?
Introduce one of the make and do ideas for example how to make a stick puppet. Talk about how this activity might link to the story you have just shared, for example to tell the story with puppets
Give parents time browse through some of the books from the lovemybooks collections if ipads or laptops are available they could look through the related activities on the site.
Children are then invited to join group and refreshments provided.
Part two: workshop with children
Parents share the book they have chosen with their child reading it to them and talking about it for example sharing favourite pages.
Parents make a stick puppet of one or two of the characters. Parent and child can begin to retell the story with the puppet/s
(Resources for the make and do activity on tables as well as selection of books)
Parents take away one or more book and a note, postcard or bookmark with the website information.
Repeat session half termly if possible, build in time for parents to feedback if possible.