Starting a Kids’ Book Club
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A kids’ book club is great for children of all reading levels, whether they’re avid readers or need a little encouragement to keep them interested in books. If you can’t find a children’s book club at your local library or school, it’s easy enough to create your own. Often organizing a kids’ book club is as easy as adding some reading time to your existing playdates. We’ve got some suggestions to help you and your child organize a great book club.
Find the Right Mix
If you’ve ever attended a book club, you know how important it is to have the right mix of people. Ideally, children in the club are at the same reading level and share similar interests. This makes it easier to pick age-appropriate books with subjects the club members enjoy.
Where and When to Meet?
Many children’s book clubs meet after school or later in the evening. Weekends are an obvious choice for meetings, but everyone has weekend commitments so scheduling club meetings may be difficult. Parents can alternate as hosts for meetings, so no one needs to host every event.
Children can meet in their parents’ homes, or you could talk to the local library and ask if you can hold the meeting there. If club members can’t make it to a physical location, they can hold the meeting over Skype, text, or post their thoughts on the book on social media.
Choose a Theme
Are the kids in your club dinosaur crazy, or do they love fast-paced adventure stories? Choosing a theme helps you narrow down which books to choose. Change the theme periodically, and let the kids have a say in what they want to read about next—their ideas may surprise you.
Go Big or Go Home
Choose remarkable books for the first few meetings, to really get kids involved. Look for well-illustrated, award-winning books that catch children’s attention, such as My Very Own Fairy Tale. If your kids’ book club has a religious theme, consider books such as My Little Book of Blessings. As the kids develop their reading skills you can ease them into chapter books.
If your book club theme ties into a movie or television show, consider having the kids read the book first and then see the show. Doing so encourages discussions about how the story changed from the book to the show, why those changes were made, and, of course, the ultimate debate: was the book better than the movie?
Keep Meetings Kid Friendly
The lengthy discussions so popular in adult book clubs will bore kids out of their minds. Instead, make meetings as kid friendly as possible. For instance, if your theme is dinosaurs, you could start by reading the story, then suggest a dinosaur related craft. Provide little gifts for the club attendees that relate to the theme—in this case you might choose dinosaur bookmarks or personalized dinosaur stickers.
Remember the Snacks!
What’s a book club without some snacks? Have some tasty treats on hand for during the meeting to keep your little readers well fed.