Thank you PBS Kids for helping me throw a reading party for kids!
My oldest is a reluctant reader and I’ve found that by incorporating reading in fun ways has really encouraged him to open up a book. Yes, it’s still a struggle at times but the more I try and keep reading fun for him the less of a struggle it becomes.
Something that has really inspired both of my boys to read more is seeing their “friends” read. So I thought, why not host a summer reading party and throw in a book swap for the kids? This is also a great way to get them excited about the upcoming school year and discuss all of the books they’ve read this summer.
The good news is you can host this type of party any time of the year. This would be perfect for winter right before the holidays to clear out their old books and make room for new ones or to gather new winter break reading material.
Here’s how it works:
1. Invite your friends. We try to keep this small and invite their friends and siblings. This gives us a great mix of ages and boy/girl ratio.
2. Start with activities. I received a bunch of activity books, bookmarks, and reading charts from PBS Kids, so I simply laid them out on a table. I let the kids explore the books on their own and have fun filling out the workbooks. It’s really cool to watch them all get into it and work together as a team.
3. Have a drink and snack station. Kids that are busy learning, need to be fueled! Have a cooler ready with healthy drinks as well as snacks so they can grab and go.
4. Set up a book station and let the kids swap! We didn’t just let them dive right in. First, we explained how to choose an appropriate book for their reading level. We used the Five Finger Test.
How it works: Read a page in the book. Put a finger on each word you don’t know.
- 1 finger – easy to read.
- 2 fingers – just right.
- 3 fingers – challenging but a good book to try.
- 4 fingers – very challenging, will need to read with a partner.
- 5 fingers – too hard, save it for later and have someone read it to you.
Then we allowed them to take a look at all of the books and put them to the test. After they were done, we had them draw numbers. They went in order picking out the books they wanted to take home with them.
5. Decide what to do with the remaining books. After the book swap is over, take a look at the ones that are left and decide as a group what you should do with them. We love donating books to local churches or schools. This is a great way to get the kids involved and learn how to give back to the community.
That’s it! A fun filled day of reading, books swapping, snacks, and activities!
Have you ever hosted a reading party? What about a book swap for kids?
I’m a PBS Kids Very Important Parent and love sharing tips and ideas for staying active as a family. As usual, all opinions are my own. Read Life Without Pink’s full disclosure here.