Starting a children’s book club can seem like an overwhelming undertaking, but there are a few simple considerations and steps to follow.
- Before you decide to start a book club, make sure that your child wants to participate. If your child is not really interested and willing, the book club may be a disappointment for you both.
- The next decision you will need to make is who will participate in your kids’ book club. Ideally, all children involved in your group will be at a similar reading level, so you may want to target a particular age range for your group, such as second- and third-graders. Remember that younger children or weaker readers can participate in book clubs by having parents read books aloud to them or by listening to books on tape. In addition, you will need to consider whether you would like to have mothers and daughters, fathers and sons, or simply parents and children.
- It is important to consider how many participants are ideal for your book club. Having too few participants may not make for lively enough conversation, while having too many participants may mean that each child does not get enough time to talk. Book clubs of between five and eight children and their parents are optimal.
- You will also need to decide how you will advertise your book club. You may simply want to invite your child’s friends and their parents by sending an invitation via telephone, mail, or e-mail. You can also post a flyer at your local library or children’s book store, or advertise in school newsletters.
- You must also decide on a meeting location. Meetings can be held in participants’ homes on a rotating basis, in a local library, local book stores, or at local coffee shops or restaurants. The size of your group may help you identify the ideal location for your meetings.
- Once you have found some children and parents who are interested in participating in the book club, hold an organizational meeting to orient participants to the club. The organizational meeting is a time for group members to get to know one another, to establish some ground rules for the group, to decide on a meeting schedule, and to decide on the first book the group will read. Ask group members to bring some of their favorite books to the organizational meeting and come prepared to provide a summary of each book.
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