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National Children's Book Week Activities

by Karen LoBello

National Children’s Book Week, an event established in 1919, is celebrated for a selected week each May. Schools, libraries, bookstores and homes across the nation commemorate the event with a variety of festivities. You'll spark your child's creativity and interest when you plan engaging activities for National Children’s Book Week. Encourage her to explore various genres and authors she hasn't read. Involve the entire family to amp up the fun factor.

Book Party

Kids love to have parties, so why not make the celebration about books? Provide a book of poetry, such as Shel Silverstein’s “Where the Sidewalk Ends,” that appeals to children. The kids can take turns reading a poem aloud. When your child issues the invitations, she can ask her friends to bring a couple books to trade. Play a game similar to musical chairs. Have the children sit in a circle, holding one book each. Play a recorded song. When you stop the music, each child gets to keep the book she is holding. Consider planning a book theme for the party. For example, if you choose the story, “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie,” you can serve cookies and milk and supply art materials so the children can draw mouse pictures.

Drama

Children, especially younger ones, enjoy dramatic play. Your child can dress as a character from his favorite book and then read the book to a friend or family member. Include some of his buddies, and they can brighten the day for nursing home residents or hospital patients. As an alternative, your child can create a puppet show. Help him make puppets from simple materials such as socks, buttons, craft sticks and material. He can design his stage using a cardboard box. Older children who have technical savvy can gather their friends and make movies about their favorite books.

Goal Setting

Have your child set a goal for the number of books or pages he wants to read in a week. Draw a large thermometer on a sheet of poster board, and chart his progress by raising the temperature on the thermometer with each book he reads. You can motivate him with book choices. Visit the library and introduce him to new authors and genres he might enjoy. If he reaches his goal, reward him with a family day at the park or a “skip your chores for a day” card. Family members will lend support if they drop what they're doing and read for an hour each night during National Children’s Book Week.

Arts and Crafts

Children of any age typically enjoy creating projects with artistic materials. Your child can create a book cover for one of her favorite books. She can use an online program or use crayons or markers draw the cover on a paper bag. Each year an illustrator is chosen to create a bookmark that honors National Children’s Book Week. Download a copy of the bookmark to show your child, and then let her fashion her own bookmark on heavy paper. Have your child create a setting from a book out of clay. She can also decorate squares of material to represent a favorite story --- or all her favorite books --- and you can help her form them into a quilt pattern.

About the Author

Karen LoBello is coauthor of “The Great PJ Elf Chase: A Christmas Eve Tradition.” She began writing in 2009, following a career as a Nevada teacher. LoBello holds a bachelor's degree in K-8 education, a secondary degree in early childhood education and a master's degree in computer education.

Photo Credits

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