If your goal is to include families to be engaged in your family literacy night at school, you need to be creative. You will find some great ideas here. We will also focus on a Dinosaur Themed Escape Room that the entire school can participate in during Literacy Night. Here are some ideas, tricks and tips for a successful family literacy night.
Know your GOAL
First, you will want to think about what your main objective is for the night. Do you want to build family and school relations, connect the student with the parent, build and excitement about literacy, sell book fair books as a fundraiser or support parents with helping their children at home with literacy skills? Once you know your goals, it will help you think about your activities for the event.
Know your audience. What challenges will there be? Knowing your challenges ahead of time will help you prevent any mishaps during the night. Are there kids with needs, language challenges, or is it difficult to get your families to participate in school events after hours? Picking a great theme can motivate families to participate. Here are some theme ideas:
- Reading in Pjs
- Movie Night
- Trunk or Treat
- Superhero Books
- Dinosaur Hunt Escape Room
- Sports Jersey Night
- Around the World
Selecting a theme will help you come up with some great themed activities. For example, if you are doing a camping theme, have tents up, have a special reading about camping, make s’mores at a station, a reading picnic or a photo booth with them catching a BIG FISH. The BIG FISH could be a book. All of the themes could have photo booths, professional storytellers, giveaways and stations full of literacy activities that include the parent.
Help and Reminders
Finally, sending home reminders regularly will increase the participation. Written invitations, phone messages, texts, calendars and emails are all great ways to remind families to participate in the Family Literacy Night. Most importantly, make sure you send a reminder home the day of the event. It helps to provide some incentive of a book giveaway that is high on the student’s interests meter or gift cards.
If you need help running stations, request parent volunteers. You can offer child care where a teacher watches siblings for the parents who are volunteering. You should encourage teachers to participate. One way is to let teachers know the theme, and let them pick an activity they would like to do with families. It doesn’t hurt to offer an incentive to the teacher volunteers either.
Dino-MITE Escape Room for Literacy Night
Kids love dinosaurs! What better way to get parents engaged with their children than an Escape Room with a dinosaur theme that they all can enjoy. Even teachers have fun with this Literacy Night theme! This escape room can be used for literacy night or for a single classroom to reinforce sight words, blends, problem solving and teamwork. They will have to open a box with surprises to escape their room! No need for locks or fancy boxes either!
This escape room is editable, but it comes with two activities that are differentiated. Students will solve 3 clues in order to solve the mystery, find a baby dinosaur and break out of the classroom. There are step-by-step directions, but you can easily change things around to fit your needs. The sight words, blends and riddle are all editable, if needed. It takes about 45 minutes to set up, 30-40 minutes to solve all the clues and 10 minutes to clean up! You will find invites, homework passes, reminders and photos of the easy set up. Check it out!
Want to learn about how to set up your own classroom Escape Room? Check this blog out HERE.