A wonderful way to bring book-loving parents and children together to share in the joy of reading is by forming a parent/child book club discussion group. With so much focus on video games and television nowadays, it’s a refreshing feeling to find families who value the entertainment that awaits on the pages of a good book.
If you are part of such a family and seek other parents and children to form a book club with and discuss your favorite books, these tips will get you on your way. The children will gain a lifelong appreciation for reading, and the parents will delight in watching their children’s imaginations run wild as they share a passion for books together.
To create a group discussion book club, you’ll need members. You can ask around during your child’s playdates or at school pickup, but there are more organized ways to recruit participants.
For instance, reading enthusiasts will frequent the library. Tack up a flyer on the community board describing your club, the general age group of the children, and how parents can reach you. Speak to the children’s librarians at your local library. Many often run parent/child book clubs of their own that you might want to join.
List some of the books you plan to read as well. You can post similar notifications at your place of worship, daycare center, or your child’s school.
If you are in a book club with adults already, ask those who are parents if they’d like to start up a new club with their children. Parents will appreciate the time spent with their children doing something enriching.
Once you’ve formed your club, you’ll need to decide what to read. As the leader, you may want to suggest the first book, but make sure the rest of the group is in agreement.
Try putting names of books into a hat to make your choices or go by favorite authors. Perhaps your club can focus on a specific genre, such as sci-fi, mystery or nonfiction.
Most importantly, it’s imperative that the parents and kids are excited about the selections and look forward to diving into reading! To help you along, read our list of 30 great read-aloud books for kids.
Meeting spots can be changed up each time you meet or you can have one standard location. Your local library might be the perfect place.
If you’re open to inviting the members to your home, make sure you meet everyone first in a public setting to maintain safety. Provide drinks and snacks or kindly ask the members to bring something inexpensive to nosh on. You can rotate homes if the members agree and create a rotating schedule.
If your local community center or place of worship allows members to utilize a free room, that’s also an option. You can alternate as to who brings the snacks, and you’ll have a set meeting spot. Plus, others passing by may see your group and have interest in joining!
Once you group decides on a book, agree on how many pages everyone will read before the next meeting. That way people come prepared to talk about what they read and can have fun trying to predict what might happen next. It’s important to try to keep everyone at the same place in the book. Otherwise, you’ll have to worry about “spoiler alerts” for anyone who hasn’t kept up with the reading.
As interesting as the books and the discussions may be, you’ll want to be sure the enthusiasm never wanes.
Make the meetings even more fun by dressing like characters in the book, serving snacks related to the topic, acting out portions of the book, etc.
Each week, let a different parent/child pair lead the discussion about the story.
Once in a while, suggest that each child bring a friend to change the group dynamic. You’ll surely gain some future members!
Enjoy your new parent/child book club and always continue to explore the depths of your imagination through reading!
Photos © Shutterstock.com. Library books: © Radu Bercan/Shutterstock.com