We have long invited our one and two year olds to be part of our summer reading club but the fit was always...uncomfortable. Food coupons and geegaws didn't really fit the tiny tots' interests or needs. And most little prizes were definitely not recommended for under three year olds. But we wanted to encourage parents reading to their children and using the six pre-literacy skills. What to do, what to do?
And then, like all good things in children's librarianship, we discovered that someone had an answer that would work for us! We stumbled on the great idea of the Rubber Ducky Club when Karen Burke at the Naperville (IL) Library in Illinois shared their information on this club on ALSCConnect newsletter (another reason to be an ALA/ALSC member...great ideas are shared!). We were intrigued. A quick email exchange ensued and Karen generously shared their club materials. And here is what we developed:
Our club is split into two months. Each month features six simplified pre-literacy skills with activities to do often with 0-35 month old kids during that time. After July 1, the June sheet can be returned, a rubber ducky is presented and the July sheet heads home with the family. That sheet can be returned in August and redeemed for a brand new book.
Record keeping is minimal and the focus is on encouraging parents in their great work supporting early literacy at home. This completes a wonderful trio of early literacy activities we launched: 1000 Books Before Kindergarten; Play Learn Read centers and now our Rubber Ducky Club.
And to make it all even sweeter, staffers created this little promo video featuring our newest spokes-creatures: Babe and Todd (baby and toddler). Get outta town! This is fun!