Book Parties: A Multi-Sensory Reading Celebration
Everyone enjoys a good party! Today we will be looking at a few ways you can host book parties that will help nurture life-long readers. Book parties are a wonderful way to engage children of all ages in multisensory reading experiences. Children are more likely to remember and enjoy learning activities that engage their senses in a variety of ways.
Don’t worry, throwing a book party does not need to be an extravagant experience. First, select one of the books you have been reading. It could be based on a favorite picture book or novel you have been reading together.
Next, work together to plan a party. As you prepare to host a book party, keep these three suggestions in mind to ensure your book party will be a memorable experience!
1) Select a food or drink to enjoy at your party. The sense of taste (and smell!) has a powerful impact on creating memories. Parties are so much more fun when food is involved! Brainstorm recipes that relate to the book, whether they were specifically mentioned or perhaps they fit the time period of the story. You may even wish to think of a food or drink that represents a theme or character from the book.
2) Plan a way to engage the children in an auditory experience. Find a song that relates to the book or a genre of music from the time period to play in the background. Alternatively, select a passage from the book that makes a reference to a sound. As you read the passage aloud, encourage the party participants to re-enact the sounds or play a clip of the sound.
3) Create a visual for the party, whether it be hand-made decorations, a game, or a craft that will help the participants visually connect their learning.
Consider asking your children to create an invite for the book party. Encourage the members of your family to dress up to make it feel special. If you really want to go all out, have each participant dress up in themed attire, such as favorite character or in clothing that fits the time-period of the story.
During the party, have the book on display and make it a point to discuss favorite parts of the book, including characters and events. Try to keep the conversation natural, so as to avoid turning the event into a quiz or a test on the book. For example, as you enjoy the featured food say something like, “This food reminds me of when…” or as you are playing the party game say, “Wait! I remember this game! Does anyone else remember when this game was played in the book?!” Encourage book related conversations but remember to view the party as a celebration of having finished and enjoyed the book. At the end of the party, discuss what you hope to read next!
Here is a sample book party idea to spark your creativity!
A “Little House” Party inspired by Laura Ingalls Wilder’s “Little House Picture Book Treasury.” Guests will be invited to don their best “prairie” attire (bonnets or aprons will do).
Taste Connection: Pumpkin pie (reference to a pumpkin growing competition in the treasury), peppermint candies (the treat they received in town) and cornbread (instead of cornmeal mush for breakfast).
Auditory Connection: Fiddle music playing in the background (in honor of Pa’s fiddle).
Visual Connection: Decorate the table with wildflowers (or make it a picnic party) and encourage the guests to build a log cabin out of pretzel rods, graham crackers, and chex cereal (for the roof and windows) or to decorate paper dolls.
Join us here monthly for our “Nurturing Lifelong Readers” series as we unpack strategies for nurturing these traits in our children so they become lifelong readers!
Read the next article in the series here!