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Often adults take great pleasure in gathering friends for a book club to discuss a book, share a delicious meal together and then debate
and delight in choosing the next book to read.  So why not create a book club for our own children so they can experience books in the
same way?  The way I see it, a book club is sort of like creating a party around a book!

Did somebody say party? Yes, a child will gladly celebrate and will want to participate in a children’s book club. This in turn will help
increase a love for books, reading, and learning, and along the way (without your child even realizing it) the book club will take them to
the next reading level.

Creating a book club for children can be simple and fairly easy with minor adjustments made to accommodate for the age and reading
level of the book club members.

Here are six simple steps to creating a book club:

1.Invite children to become book club members and set aside a special date to read a book together. Book clubs can be formed from:
•        A playdate group
•        A circle of friends or neighbors
•        An after-school club
•        A homeschooling group
•        Your own family/siblings
Make it easy – The parents or caretakers involved in the group can take turns hosting and prepping for the book club.

2. Choose a book that is the appropriate level for kids in the group.  There is an amazing selection of books at your local libraries and
librarians can recommend books for the age and/or reading level of your book club members.  For younger kids, around the ages of 3-
8, read-aloud picture books are appropriate for the book club.  Giving children a voice in their reading choice generates ownership in
their learning, so allow children to peruse books, make suggestions, then vote on the book of the month.

3. Read the book - the book can be read aloud by an adult while kids listen or kids can follow along with individual copies of the
book.  For independent readers, skip this step, as they will read the book beforehand and come to the book club ready to discuss the
book.  
Simple Steps to Starting a Book Club for Children
By Dr. Jennifer Medina
A frequent question I get from parents of young children is, “How can I help my
make reading fun!  Let your child pick the book that they find most interesting,
that they feel drawn to or awakens their curiosity. If a child has a positive attitude
towards books and reading, the necessary reading skills will develop organically
and with less struggle or effort. Reading to your child is another great way to help
them develop language, vocabulary, and comprehension skills. It also promotes
bonding and spending quality time with them.
4. Ask a few discussion questions, either comprehension or opinion questions during the story
and allow the kids to share their answers or thoughts on the story.  A few basic questions might
be:  
•        What would you do if you were (name of character)?  
•        What do you notice in the illustrations?  
•        What did you like about this story?

Remember this is all about making reading fun so keep it simple and follow their cues. If kids
are becoming restless, move on; but as long as they remain interested in the discussion, give
them time to share.
Theresa Howell, the main character, Mira changes her surroundings by painting the neighborhood. Give the children paint and paper to
try painting like Mira. There are many resources for age appropriate craft activities online.

6. Provide a snack – this is the proverbial “icing on the cake” that makes the book club really feel like a party based around a book.  The
snacks can be as simple as cheese and crackers or you can pick a food theme related to the book.  For example, if you read, If you Give a
Moose a Muffin by Laura Numeroff, try serving muffins for the snack.  Again there are many fun resources online to get ideas for your
book club snack.

Introducing children to a book club format is a fun way to increase excitement around reading and will help create the foundation to
developing lifelong readers and learners! And when you have completed your 6 steps, don’t forget to go back to the beginning and vote
on next month’s book!!  You will empower children by giving them the opportunity to choose what interests them and will be well on
your way to creating a celebration around books and reading!

For more ideas on book club suggestions, go to
InTheLemonTree.com. Each month a children’s book is featured along with a suggested
craft or activity. Save time, the planning is already done for you.
Prescott Parent Magazine
PO Box 10742
Prescott, AZ 86304
(970)-270-2552     
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