Start a Parent-Child Book Club0
Tips for putting together a group, activities, structure, food & more! I have done a Mother-Daughter Book Club with each of my girls for the past 10 years and I cannot recommend it enough! We finally had to give it up with our older daughters as they were finishing junior high because of the craziness of everyone’s schedules.
However, we are still going strong with my youngest and her group of ten 6th grade girls and their moms. I look forward to listening to their animated and very honest discussions each month. And I have to admit that I love all the social time with the moms as well.
To start your own book club, or join one that has already been started near you, post a NEW CHAT with an invitation to parents in your community. SHARE YOUR TIPS & IDEAS BELOW IN THE COMMENTS!
How do you decide on who should be in the group:
When starting a book club, you need to consider your child’s age, grade, reading level, and gender.
Kids should be within 2 years or 2 grades of each other (ie: k-1st grade or 5-6 year olds).
When the kids are younger, they will need more reading support from their parents.
Putting together a group:
Ideally, the groups should be limited to 10 children. If more people want to join, additional groups can be created as needed.
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.
Send an email to those you want to invite and ask for the following:
- You are invited to join a Mother-Daughter Book Club.
The purpose is to support our children in reading and to turn it into something fun as they learn to discuss books and share ideas. The group will meet monthly and each month the host will pick the book to be read. Our kids will write their questions in a journal and bring them to the group and the kids will each share their answers. Hosts will have the option to do an activity prior to the discussion that relates to the book.
Please email (RSVP) back and answer the following…
__Yes, I would love to join the group. __No, it sounds like fun but we cannot commit at this time.
Time Preferences (list some alternate days & times):
I would like to make the following book suggestions:
Parent Name: Child’s Name & Age & School: Address / Phone / Email:
Setting the Date & Time:
Younger groups should be limited to one hour, but older groups may last longer with more in-depth discussions throughout the meeting.
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.
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.
Structure of the Group:
Once the 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?
- 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!
Picking the BOOK:
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.
Kids will write their questions in a journal and bring them to the group and the kids will each share their answers. 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 the theme for each meeting (not necessary after 3rd grade). 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.
Ideas for younger children…
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.
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!
Sites to review for more ideas:
- StarFall.com is a learn-to-read website geared to preschool-2nd graders. They have fun interactive reading activities.
- 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
- Random House Kids tips to start a club >
- ParentClick Book List