With summer inching it’s glorious rays closer, parents and kids fix their eyes upon the calendar. Kids counting the days of unending fun, and parents wondering how to include both good times and good learning throughout long, summer days.
The answer to making memories, building community, and extending learning? A kid-centered book club. Last summer, our family invited several families we knew and a few we hoped to know better to a kids’ book club. The result?
Book Club Members celebrating Charlie and the Chocolate Factory with Fondue.
Here's five easy steps to start your own kid-centered book club:
1. Make the Guest List. Have your child help create a list of about five friends to invite to the book club.
2. Decide on a Book. I recommend choosing a book that can be easily paired with memorable extension activities. Example: Not only did Charlie and the Chocolate Factory have a movie to accompany the book, but our book club participants enjoyed chocolately fondue, chocolate milk, and chocolate kisses.
3. Send Invitations. Create an evite to help keep invitations free and attendance easy to track.
4. Choose the Venue. Decide on a place and time for the meeting. An hour and a half seems to be the perfect amount of time.
5. Rotate Responsibilities. Take turns rotating book choice and hosting responsibilities between club members. Whoever picks the book is the next host. By rotating around, you get to visit both parents and kids in their own home.
Now, I know what you are thinking...
I’m just not creative enough to come up with fun ideas to pair with books. Not an issue. There are many creative types who have already put together recipes and activities. Consider making Fern’s Spider Cakes (from Charlotte’s Web) or Dandelion Juice (from Harry Potter).
I don’t know the kids (or the parents) my child wants to invite to book club. Even more reason to get planning. Kid-centered book clubs are a great way to build community.
I’m still in need of a little push. Fine, fine. Bounce around NPR’s Backseat Book Club: questions from kids, answers from authors, and endless encouragement to keep reading.
I’m not sure what my kids will find interesting. Perfect! It’s a great time to push classics from your day on them. What about Super Fudge, Bridge to Teribithia, or Diecy’s Song?
But I don't have the money. Did you know libraries lend out entire sets of books? Yes, my friend Michele talks about this little fact and teaches readers to library like they mean it. Click here for a little inspiration from the bookshelves.
Flashback: What is one of the first books from childhood that ignited your love of reading?
Linking with Jen and girls.
*I initially wrote this post for MomItForward.