Monday, March 3, 2014

Storytime Cell Phone Chaos

In thinking about how to balance the programs we offer, the class was asked to share an example of how they changed a program, grew it or adapted it to create a better balance. This is one in a series of posts in which class participants responded to the prompt: Share an example of a way you evolved a program that led to a more successful outcome.

Lori from Indiana had cell-phone loving parents with their kids running amok in storytime. It was time for a change.

I don't know if anyone else has experienced this:  Parents who don't  seem to want to sit with their kids during story time.

We had quite the problem with this new crop of parents.  We have a very large meeting room, and most of the parents would sit as far away as they could from their kids.  They would then proceed to talk among themselves, text, or talk on their cells.  This, naturally, led to their little angels running amok!  They would then be flabbergasted if we had to ask them to sit with their child.  Sort of a "How dare you!"

Took us long enough, but this is what we did:  We closed the divider in the room.  The crafts were set up on the other side of the wall, so no chairs for them to use.  (We do have ready access to chairs if a parent/grandparent is in need of one).  We bought alphabet carpet squares. 

We began our new procedure without warning or calling attention to the changes.  When they arrived (after check-in and name tags), we took them to the "second door."  OOOOOHHHHH.  We handed a carpet square to each child with the request to find a spot for your carpet and you mom/etc., and have a seat on the carpet.  Granted, some went to the back (divider wall), but the kid stayed with them.  And the carpet squares kept the kids seated, for the most part, until it was time for activities.

We end the program each week with a craft, so we open the divider a bit and everyone goes in for the craft.  Story time has never ran so smoothly!

Graphic courtesy of Pixabay

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