Books stand on their own as art and entertainment, and sometimes the best
approach is simply to read a book and savor it. In other cases,
discussing the book enriches the experience. But it can also be fun to
pair books with activities such as crafts, trips, cooking, and more. Most
of the following ideas are geared toward picture-story books and
biographies, but reading a novel together can also lead to shared
activities. Brainstorm with your child about other possibilities, with
the goal, as always, to make reading a wonderful experience.
Take a low-key field trip in conjunction with a picture-story
book. Read Pond Year and then take a walk at a pond. Read Lottie's
Circus before going to a circus or If Anything Goes Wrong at the Zoo
before a trip to the zoo.
Add props to your reading of a picture-story book. Get a squirt
gun or set of Groucho Marx glasses for reading Chester's Way. Find a
metal Band-Aid box and fill it with coins before reading The Purse.
Read Mermaid Janine before going swimming or starting swimming
Read How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World, then bake
together. Cooking is a wonderful combination of math, such as fractions
and measuring, and reading recipes.
Read June 29, 1999 and try a science experiment. Libraries have
many science experiment books for children.
After reading a book illustrated with collage, try making a
collage. Or paint with watercolors after seeing watercolor illustrations
in a book.
Read a folktale, then a parody of the tale, such as Cinderella and
Cinder Edna. Talk about the similarities and differences.
Read about a female athlete. Go to a local girls' sports event,
such as a high school or college game or track meet.
Listen to a book on tape together on a long trip. A number of the
novels in this guide have been recorded and are available at your library
or for rental through the mail.
With a child who can read independently, start a mother-daughter
book group, or help your daughter start a book group with friends.
Read a novel in conjunction with a trip to a geographic region:
Caddie Woodlawn for Wisconsin;Eight Mules from Monterey for California;
The Missing 'Gator of Gumbo Grove for Florida; and many more.
Visit a place on vacation connected with important women. For
example, read about the history of women's rights before going to the
Women's Hall of Fame in Seneca Falls. Or visit the National Museum of
Women in the Arts in Washington, DC.
Read about an important woman in conjunction with Take Our
Daughters to Work Day (late April).