A few years ago during the summer, I did a one-time simple book group for young kids in our neighborhood. My goal was to provide a fun way to help moms and kids read together and then join as a group to play a game and discuss the book we’d read.
Since many of us are so busy over the summer or throughout the year, I didn’t worry about making it a weekly or monthly event. We did it once, had plans to do it a second time, and ended up just keeping it to the one experience. But it was memorable and fun. Most of all, it wasn’t a burden to anyone, and the kids learned more about the story because we talked about it with them.
We selected the beloved classic, Heidi, by Johanna Spyri (*affiliate links throughout). As you probably know, it’s a captivating story about a young girl named Heidi, goats, her grandfather, and others. They all live peacefully on the Swiss Alps until Heidi must go to town for schooling. The story is perfect for young children since the main characters are children themselves: Heidi, Clara, and Peter.
For our one-time book club, Moms and kids read the book first. We gave plenty of time, and most of them already had copies or borrowed them from the library. We set a date to finish the reading, about a month. From the start, I encouraged parents to read with their child whenever possible. Then, since it was summertime, we gathered for a simple picnic on my back patio.
In the center of the patio table, I had placed a vase with simple paper flower cutouts. Each one was labled with one of the five “W” questions: Who, What, Where, When, Why & How. The children each chose a flower and their moms helped them come up with questions about the book that corresponded with what they had chosen. For instance, Who is the main character in the book? Who are Heidi’s friends in the book? Why did Heidi have to leave the mountain? What did they eat almost every day? Then the rest of us would see if we could answer the questions. Sometimes we’d make up several questions, if the kids seemed interested in continuing.
Anyway, our one-time club was fun. We had plans to visit goats after reading the story, but we just couldn’t get everyone together. But that was OK too. There are so many ideas to do as many or as few book clubs as the neighborhood moms would like.
Some more great books to consider? It really depends on the age of your kids. But here are a few suggestions to get you and your group of moms brainstorming: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The BFG, The Secret Garden, Black Beauty, Summer of the Monkeys, Harry Potter, Lemony Snickett, and so much more! Try to pick books that are fun to read aloud.
Ready to start your own book club for kids? I’ve designed the flowers for you if you want to do the bouquet/question game. Simply cut them out, laminate, and tape to popsicle sticks or skewers, depending on the depth of your vase.
What do you do to encourage summer reading with your kids?
Which books would you suggest for a kids book club?
*I used affiliate links in this article. Should you choose to purchase one of the linked items, I will receive a small portion of the sale–at no cost to you. Thank you for helping me to pay for hosting fees and other blog-related expenses.