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Parent/Child Book Clubs

Parent/Child Book Clubs



Parent Tips > Activities, Arts & Attractions > Parent/Child Book Clubs

Why start a book club?

Book clubs engage readers with literature written specific to their interests and age level. Parent/child book clubs are unique in that they allow relationships to grow while children are exercising inventive and creative behavior. They take very little time commitment and are a fun way for children to engage in reading. It is a special bonding activity for parents and kids.

Book clubs encourage children to read and to get excited about it. It is a way for kids to become more comfortable with public speaking as they share their thoughts about the book with their peers. Book clubs can help with communication skills. Instead of just answering with "yes, it was good" - they will learn to expand their comments and share their opinions.

StarFall.com is a learn-to-read website geared to preschool-2nd graders. They have fun interactive reading activities.

Snack Ideas

Food is always fun to get creative with. You can even have the kids cook something as part of a project. If you can't think of anything that corresponds with the story, healthy ideas such as cheese & crackers, peanut butter & jelly mini-sandwiches, peanut butter & celery, carrots & ranch dressing, never fail. Make sure you check all of the children's allergies so that there is no one left out of snack time!

Choosing A Book

Look under Product Favorites on the site for more ideas or to submit your own. Go online and search for book ideas. Below are some ideas to get you started.

 

K-2 grade Girls:
Amelia Bedelia books - Auntie Claus by Elise Primavera - Charming Opal by Hollie Hobbie

K-2 grade Boys:
Curious George by H.A. Rey - Dogshow by Elizabeth Winthrop - How I Became a Pirate by Melinda Long

3-4 grade Girls:
Junie B. Jones by Barbara Park - Ramona Quimby series by Beverly Cleary - Because of Winn Dixie - American Girls series

3-4 grade Boys:
Captain Underpants by Dav Pilkey - Horrible Harry & the Mud Gremlins by Suzy Kline

5-6 grade Girls: Charlotte's Web by E.B. White - James & the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl - Charlie & the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl - Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling - Goosebumps series by R.L. Stine

5-6 grade Boys: Danny, the Champion of the World by Roald Dahl - James & the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl - Charlie & the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl - Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling - Goosebumps series by R.L. Stine


Starting a Book Club

When starting a book club, you need to consider your child’s age / reading level, and gender. Finding a day of the week and time is also important in creating a set-schedule. Most book clubs meet once a month and usually on the weekends.

Putting together a group: You can start with friends and ask each of them to invite another parent/child. You can also try to start one through your school by posting something in the school newsletter.

If you are starting the book club, you will be the main contact for the rest of the group. It is important to get everyone’s contact information , such as email addresses, good times to meet, names of children / parents, age of children, any allergies your child has (for snack preparation), location/zip code/child’s school, etc… Ideally, the groups should be limited to 10 children. If more people want to join, additional groups can be created as needed.

Younger groups should be limited to one hour, but older groups may last longer with more in-depth discussions throughout the meeting.

Once a day has been determined (such as the first Saturday of every month), you need to determine who will be hosting, who will provide the snacks/beverages, and who will organize the activity. All of these tasks can be completed by different people each month so the work is not overwhelming. Ideally the snacks, and especially the activity, should coordinate with the theme of the book that is being read. When all of this has been determined, contact all of the parents in the group and let them know who is in charge of what, and, more importantly, what the first book will be!

One suggestion is to let the person hosting decide on the book for that month. Another idea is to put the name of all the books that the group agrees on into a hat and pick each month for the following meeting. The person hosting can put together the discussion questions (you only need a few) or each person can bring a question. The nice thing with this is that each child can take a turn starting the discussion by asking their question and sharing their own opinion first.

Set a schedule for at least 6 months so that everyone can get it on their calendars. Ask everyone to try and make it a priority. Encourage everyone to have the book read. To start your own book club, or join one that has already been started near you, email info@sbparent.com.

Sites to review for more ideas:
http://www.kidsreads.com
http://www.clothbookcovers.com/mother_daughter_book_club.htm
http://www.duluth.lib.mn.us/Books/BookClubs.html#Kids
Book on getting started...The Mother-Daughter Book Club: How Ten Busy Mothers and Daughters Came Together to Talk, Laugh and Learn Through Their Love of Reading

Activity Ideas

Set the theme for each meeting. Where does the story take place? Who are the characters? What kinds of foods would they eat? How would they dress? Discuss these things with your child.

Kids can come to the meeting dressed as a character in their book. They can spend a few minutes guessing who each person is.

Is there a fun craft project that can be done? This is great for the younger kids who may not be as verbal. They can draw something that they liked in the story. Puppets, jewelry, collages, etc. are other easy activities. The purpose to have it tie into the book.

Reading Activities

--Submitted by Carolee Peterson, Discovery Toys

Plan on reading to your kids often, and not just at night.
Activities: Read a book and make and art project relating to the story. Make masks or puppets and then reenact the story of a book. Have kids start a journal in which kids can write down their impressions about the books. If your children are younger, you can write for them. Spelling doesn't matter. Point to the words as you read the story. This teaches direction and shows a symbolic relationship between the words and what you say.

Make a logo book. Use the Sunday newspaper or magazines from which to clip ads, words, logos or names that your children recognize. (e.g. Jell-o, Cheerios, Disney). Glue the clippings into an inexpensive photo book. Your kids will have a book they can read all by themselves!

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