Having a Family Book Club this summer is a great way to spend quality time together, keep little minds active, instigate deep conversations, have loads of fun, and create lasting memories. Read on to learn how to start a book club in your home.
Last week I talked about having a summer reading program in the home to encourage reading during the summer. Today I want to talk about implementing a summer family book club to keep kids engaged with reading over the summer and make it extra fun.
Reading together as a family can be a great experience! Sure, it might be difficult at first, but once your kids get used to it and start to see it as the norm, it’ll get much better. In fact, it might just become your favorite family activity!
Choose the Book Details
- What length of books will you read? This will depend on the ages of your kids. You may even choose to do two different books clubs if you have a wide-range of ages in your family. If you have young kids, picture books are great. If you have early readers, try chapter books. Older kids? Middle grade. Teens? Young adult.
- Will you read together or separate? If you have small children, I recommend reading the books together, out loud. Obviously for really young kids, this is the only option. But even for young kids that can read on their own, this is a fun bonding experience, and helps your kids learn more reading skills like sentence fluency, predicting books, reading comprehension, etc. If you have older kids, you may choose to read the books on your own and come together to discuss.
- How often will book club meet? You can meet daily, weekly, bi-monthly, or monthly. I recommend no more often than weekly, and monthly is an even better option (to avoid overwhelm). Obviously, if you’re reading a chapter book out loud to your kids, you should read more frequently. But the discussion and activities portion of book club doesn’t need to happen as often.
- Will you choose themes or books? For picture books, I recommend a theme, then read a few books under that category. For chapter books or middle grade, just choose a great book. Let your kids help choose!
Plan the Book Club Details
- What books will you read? Now here is the fun part–choose your books! Defintiely get input form your kids here!
- What activity could you do with that book? Ideas include games, movies, outings, crafts, etc.
- What food could you eat that ties in to the book? Is there a food the characters eat or talk about? Is there a prominent color? Is there a food that correlates to the character (i.e. goldfish if the character is a fish).
- Are there any other details you want to include?
I’m ALLLLLL about simple over here. Yes, I want to create memories for my kids. Yes, I want to make reading fun. Yes, I want to do fun activities with my kids. But I also know my limits and I need to keep things simple–really simple–or I get overwhelmed fast!
Don’t plan too much. Don’t try to overdo it. If you do, you’ll fail before you begin. That’s why I recommend only holding book club monthly because for me I know it’s more likely to happen if I don’t do it so much. But if you can handle more, that’s great!
I also simplify the activities and food. I don’t try to make a full-scale meal, with each item intricately made to fit the theme. No! That’s way too much for me. I just do a simple snack that hopefully has minimal prep work and that the kids can help make themselves. And for the activity, a movie is great because it takes zero effort, but is still super fun! If I do a craft, it’s a short one that takes 15 minutes or less to complete. My brain just can’t take more than that.
But that’s just me. Maybe you love crafts and making themed food. That’s awesome! If you can handle more, by all means, do it! The important thing is that you choose something that isn’t going to overwhelm you. If you’re overwhelmed, you’re going to be stressed and cranky, and then what’s he point? Nobody is having fun.
Lower your expectations for yourself and remember that the whole point is to have fun and create lasting family memories together. Your kids don’t need over-the-top. All they really want is quality time with YOU.
What’s your favorite family book activity?
If you liked this post, check out the rest of the Perfectly Imperfect Summer Series:
- How I Prep for Summer
- How to Prioritize Both Productivity and Fun
- Encouraging Summer Reading
- Creating A Flexible Summer Schedule