Book club (noun): a group of people who meet regularly to discuss books they are reading (Mirriam-Webster).
I have been a member of a book club for the last 16+ years. We are a motley crew but the thing that ties us all together is our love for reading and fellowship. We meet monthly. This June, we are reading The Horse by Geraldine Brooks and we will congregate in the hostess’ living room after a home cooked meal, with our books in hand, sipping coffee and sampling dessert, and discuss what we read in the month leading up to the gathering. It is a monthly treat.
While book clubs date back hundreds of years, a modern twist to what a book club might look and sound-like unveiled itself in 1996 when Oprah Winfrey launched her own and since then other famous faces have introduced ones as well including actress Reese Whitherspoon in 2017, comedian Jimmy Fallon in 2018, and talk show host Jenna Bush Hager in 2019.
Do you have a child at home who would be interested in being like Oprah Winfrey, Reese Whitherspoon, Jimmy Fallon or Jenna Bush Hager and facilitate their very own book club? In last month’s blog post It’s Summer; Let’s Play! I discuss the benefits of a balanced approach to independent play, social play, and guided play. A kid-friendly book club is one means to engage your child in all three types of play.
Here are some tips to help you help your child, and their community of readers, start aplayful book club (Reading Rewards, 2018):
- Pick a Name
- Pick the Members
- Pick a Location
- Rally Volunteers
- Establish Communication Platforms
- Pick a Theme and/or Book
- Feed the Flock
- Establish Rules
- Organize Complimentary Activities
The article How to Start the Best Kids’ Book Club Ever (Edwards, 2022) guides adults in cultivating the space and time for their children and the children of others to grow their young readers via book clubs. The author provides useful tips for extending the learning activities of the books by organizing complimentary activities. The following are guiding questions to pose to and discuss with your child in the book club planning process:
- Is there a snack we can link to the book? (Here are some inspiring ideas!)
- Is there an arts-based activity we can link to the book? (Here are some inspiring ideas!)
- Is there an excursion we can take that links to the book? (Here are some inspiring ideas!)
Another resource will be your local public library. Check out your local library’s summer reading program and recommendations of book titles that match your child’s independent reading and interest levels.
Creating opportunities for your child to lead their own summer reading adventures through playful independent, social, and guided reading opportunities will nurture your child’s love for reading! Savor the summer and the process.
Edwards, F. (2022, March 14). How to start the Best Kids’ Book Club Ever. The Children’s Book Review. https://www.thechildrensbookreview.com/how-to-start-the-best-kids-book-club-ever/
Merriam-Webster. (n.d.). Book club definition & meaning. Merriam-Webster. https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/book%20club
Perkins, A. (2023, May 30). It’s summer; let’s play! – CTL – collaborative for teaching and learning. CTL. https://ctlonline.org/its-summer-lets-play/
Reading Rewards. (2018, November 29). How to start a book club for kids. Reading Rewards. https://www.reading-rewards.com/blog/how-to-start-kids-book-club/
Staff, S. P. (2018, December 7). Bring books to life: Take a reading field trip. Scholastic. https://www.scholastic.com/parents/books-and-reading/reading-resources/bring-books-to-life-take-reading-field-trip.html
Vicki. (2022, April 4). Book based snacks inspired by Kid’s Books. Babies to Bookworms. https://www.babiestobookworms.com/2022/04/04/book-based-snacks/