Now you have your members, your venue and your time sorted you need to choose the same date each month to hold your new Bookclub. This makes it easy for your members and their parents to remember and it can be circled on their calendars in advance.
Through trail and error I learnt that the middle of the week seems more acceptable to busy parents and children.
Mondays creep up on us far too fast and by Friday everyone just wants to go home and blob, or there is a family event or other function to attend.
(You can always ask what suits your members when they arrive or sign up on the first night. You will never keep everyone happy, but can let the bulk of the date requests help you decide.)
Set up Kit - Before the date of your first book club arrives, put together your set-up kit.
This could include:
You can buy stickers, badges, pencils, glitter pens etc very cheaply to put on your tray. The sticker books can be cut up to make them last many months of book clubs. You could speak to your local bookshop or contact children's publishers to ask if they have any promotional material (even if it is old), like badges, bookmarks or even books. You would be surprised how many books are pulped as damaged when they have a small mark, are sun damaged or sometimes perfectly fine but not required any more.
A clipboard - holds your A4 sheet that is split into columns as listed above. Fill in the details of the new members you have already signed up, so that when they arrive they can tick the box next to their name etc to say they have attended that month's bookclub.
(I'll explain why soon.)
Have lots of spare lines for any new members that arrive.
Name Badges - can be bought in a box of 50 or so and will last for years. Write the names of the members who have signed up already onto a name card each and have them ready for when they arrive. I put them in alphabetical order, so they can pick them up on the way in the door.
Have a black marker pen handy at the beginning of any book club so you can quickly write up a name badge for any new members who come along. Siblings, cousins and friends will often want to join in - as long as they are 8-12 years - tweens (or what ever age you set at the beginning).
The tray - can be filled with any type of treats if you don't want to give out lollies and chocolate. If you want to make handmade treats, just make sure they're individually wrapped on the tray, which is more hygenic, less messy, or so the child can take it home if they wish.
Now you're ready for your first Book club night.
Next post is: 'Why the Tray full of Goodies?'