You've heard of parents getting together to talk about literature at book clubs, but they aren't just limited to adults! Find out how you can organise a book club just for kids that will encourage them to be avid readers and critical thinkers.
A book club can be a great way for kids to become more interested in reading as well as represent a gateway for them to be introduced to a multitude of different books, genres and ideas. Yet how do you go about starting up a book club for kids and more importantly how do we sustain their interest? After all a book club for kids or even adults is asking for a big commitment. We list out a step by step approach on how you can get started on a book club for kids as well as ideas on keeping things fresh and interesting.
Getting the kids
The first step is to decide the age group you are going to set for the club along with the number of participants. With regards to age group, it is best to have a group of kids who are at similar reading levels and the age gap should not be too wide. For the amount of people in the group, a good number would be around six to ten kids per group.
Choosing the location
Depending on the size of the book club, parents might want to consider alternating between homes for book club meetings, especially if all the parents are in agreement. An alternative to this is to take the book clubs out to suit the settings of the books being discussed. For instance, if the book in question is The Chronicles of Narnia, you could consider having the discussion at a park, reminiscent of the own lush surroundings of Narnia’s backdrop.
Setting the ground rules
Like any club, certain ground rules need to be set to keep things running efficiently and with a certain decorum. Get the kids to come up with their own set of unique ground rules – this encourages a sense of accountability in the group as all involved see to it that their is smooth and successful running of the club.
Keeping things interesting
Children have really short attention spans and once the novelty of the book discussion group wears off, so might their interests. So how to keep them interested? One way that you could do this is to make each meeting different. Instead of just talking about the book during the book club for kids, children could come dressed as their favourite characters, act out their favourite moment of the book or even create an alternate ending for the main characters in the book. These alternatives keep things both fun and interesting and it allows for the kids to get creative as well.
Parents should consider facilitating the book discussions initially or at least till the kids are more comfortable navigating discussions on their own. For example, a parent-facilitator could start off discussions by asking a question related to a certain theme or character in the book and let the kids take it from there. This will encourage healthy and independent discussion among the kids and with time, the kids will view the club as a place that they can share their views about issues in a book in a safe environment.
Did these tips help you with organising a book club for kids? We’d love to hear from you!
For more on organising a book club for kids, watch this video: