We held our first Rainbow Cafe of this school year in November. Rainbow Cafe is based on the Norfolk Story Cafe principle - encouraging families to love stories in a fun and informal way. For more on the Story Cafe principle see the Nursery World article here.
So our theme for this Rainbow Cafe was Aliens love Panta Claus by Claire Freedman and Ben Cort - we know all the children LOVE Aliens in Underpants and as it's Christmas I decided on a Christmassy aliens in Underpants story.
I set up a communication friendly space based on the story for children and families to explore when they arrive -
I selected a small tree from a charity shop, santa, reindeer and alien toys from charity shops, wrapped parcels (old food packaging nicely wrapped), some picture / word cards to inspire talk, and all of it on a nice white sheet to represent the snow. Oh yes and little (new) pants (from Primark!) to hang on the tree like in the story.
I read the story to all the children and families sitting on the carpet, then everyone goes off to select resources to make some story props to take home. Here's some of what we made -
Then we break for refreshments - a lovely friend of our preschool made Reindeer biscuits! And we all sit together at the end to show what we made, draw out some book prizes from our raffle, hand out certificates and set families a challenge. This time the family challenge was to talk about "What would YOU get Santa for a present?" Our next Rainbow Cafe will be in February and will be based on ... well that would be telling ... but there's a pigeon in the story!
For more inspiration see the It's All About Stories facebook page here
and my pinterest boards here
You might be especially interested in boards like - Story Cafe, Story Activities, Stories, Stories, Stories, Story Baskets and Communication Friendly spaces.