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Creating a Book Club for Kids

June 2, 2014

kidsbookclubEven though kids are typically more enthusiastic about electronics than hard-cover books, there are many ways to reignite their love for reading. Creating a book club is one surefire method to help engage your child with words.

Book clubs for kids can offer parents, nannies, and most of all, kids, a chance to get creative, combine technology with reading and further their knowledge of topics they are passionate about at the moment.

Learn how to kick start a book club for your children at home, school or in your neighborhood with these creative strategies that promote learning.

The Planning Process

A book club can be as easy to organize as a weekly play date, and this is a good time to involve your children in the planning process. Simply call a meeting with neighborhood parents, school teachers and their children to delegate a list of books and activities, then arrange a time and meeting place the kids can meet at on a weekly or monthly basis. Your children should be a key part of these discussions so they feel invested in the process and excited about the prospect of reading and engaging with their friends and neighbors.

Themes and Things

Beyond choosing books to read for your child’s newly created book club, it’s important to brainstorm themes and activities that tie into the text. You can also have preliminary meetings to determine book choices.

Anne Kline, author of a unique line of children’s books and the owner of Kudzu Kids, LLC, recommends a “My Favorite Things” theme to jump start the book club. “Each week, the group can discuss a favorite thing topic and pick a book that goes with this theme,” she says. “The books could be about sports or animals – really anything that is a favorite.”

Once the children have compiled a list of favorite things, they can pick individual books relating to the theme of the week. “By allowing each reader the opportunity to pick something that interests him or her, reading will be enjoyable,” says Kline. “If we are interested in something, we tend to want to read about it.”

Kline suggests the following ‘Favorite Things’ themes:

  • What is your favorite sport/athlete?
  • What is your favorite instrument or music?
  • What is your favorite animal?
  • What is your favorite art project?
  • What is your favorite movie?
  • Favorite things to do on summer break

“After each reader picks his or her favorite thing to read about for that theme week, have the group play charades and guess what each child picked,” says Kline.

Let the Activities Begin

Once your child is reading, either on an electronic tablet or a hardback book, it is important to plan activities for each book club meeting. Yes, the children can discuss their favorite parts of the book, but they will likely also enjoy interactive activities to get them engaged with the content of the book.

Get creative with any of the following activities for book club meetings:

  • In teams, create a model of the book using a shoe box and have the children explain their models.
  • Take them to the zoo or an animal shelter and learn more about favorite animals if the book focuses on animals that week
  • Take in an author reading or speaking engagement at a local bookstore
  • Host a slumber party to watch the film version of the book
  • Enact a puppet show of the book
  • Ask each child to create a journal or scrapbook detailing their thoughts and impressions of the book and the plot
  • Take a field trip to the library to choose another book
  • Launch a book swap, where each child brings the books they have already read and ‘shop’ for new titles
  • Pick a book with historical significance in your area and then take a field trip to that area after the book is finished
  • Ask the children to create a video to summarize the primary events in the book
  • Host a scavenger hunt in your neighborhood, asking children to take pictures of potential scenes in the book

In addition to interactive activities, the book club can also take a stab at writing a book together. When Judith Hokanson’s children were young, they spent summers and school breaks writing books together. Hokanson and her sons got creative by designing the books in all shapes and sizes. “Some were accordion style, others had a rope so these books could be carried around,” she says. “Some had a drawing or drawings that I shrank to fit the small pages of the story we were working on.”

According to Hokanson, the book-making activities were some of the fondest moments she has with her children. By creating a book club and getting your children involved in reading and exploring their imagination, you, too, can make memories.


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sharon says:

this is a great idea, especially now that summer is here!