6 Activities To Celebrate National Book Month
Back in 2003, the National Book Foundation designated October as National Book Month. At the time, the foundation selected October to coincide with their annual Book Awards. But since the first National Book Month, readers and writers have used October as an opportunity to celebrate reading.
This year, we’re bringing you 6 activities to help you and your kids celebrate National Book Month.
Activity #1 - Write To An Author
When I was a child, I had a teacher who had the entire class write letters to every author we read that year. I remember carefully writing the letter by hand on notebook paper and folding it in thirds into the envelope. Did Alfred Slote or Phyllis Reynolds Naylor ever get my letters? Did they read them? I have no idea, but I know writing those letters was fun. And it helped me remember those stories thirty-plus years later.
For National Book Month, have your kids select their favorite author and write them a letter! It could be pen and paper—it’s actually not hard to send a letter to a publisher—or you could use social media to send a note.
Help your kids tell their favorite author why they love the book. Authors want to hear that feedback and your kids will learn how to think about what they like and express themselves through writing. Win-win!
Activity #2 - Make A Book Poster
Another throwback to my youth; creating posters and fan art for my favorite books was a regular pastime.
Help your kids do the same with a big piece of paper and some colored pencils. The poster should capture what your kids love most about the book (a character, a scene, anything!).
This activity might take a little help from you to draw out what they like most about the book and to imagine how to make a poster or fan art. But it’s a great way to help your kids engage with the story and use their imagination.
Activity #3 - Make A Character Costume
It’s October and your kids need a Halloween costume! Encourage them to dress up as their favorite character from a book this year.
This is a really fun way to explore a book they already love. Start by rereading the book with your kids and help them make notes about what their favorite character looks like. Which hand is Hook’s hook? What color is Alice’s dress?
Making notes is a great practice when reading, so exposing your kids to note-taking is an added bonus. Plus you’ll have their amazing Halloween costume to end National Book Month on a high note!
Activity #4 - Read A Book By Their Favorite Author
We’ve all got our favorite books, right? Help your kids expand their reading by picking up something by the same author they haven’t read yet.
It might seem minor, but establishing the practice of reading more from authors we love is well worth the effort. Getting interested in reading the author and not just the book will build up their love for reading in general and will help them discover the depth of an author’s catalog.
I’m sure you do the same when you find an author you love; help your kids build this practice too during National Book Month.
Activity #5 - Read Something Different
Unless your child is already a prolific reader, I bet you can find something new on NPR’s list of 100 books for young readers. Or check with your local bookstore or library or on the Lulu Bookstore for new and exciting books your kids haven’t read yet.
The point is to encourage them to experience a new book for National Book Month. Much like reading more deeply into their favorite author’s catalog, find a new author for them to enjoy!
Looking for more ways to help encourage young readers to try something new? You’re in luck! Our Instagram features regular ‘reading bingo’ with challenges to help kids find new and interesting stories to read.
Introducing new books to your kids—and getting them into the habit of reading new authors—is critical to building their reading habits. And it’s a way to introduce your kids to new and popular works.
Activity #6 - Create A Book
This isn’t meant to be just a plug for IlluStory and My Comic Book kits, but giving your kids a book-making kit does help them craft their own story. But you could keep it simpler and just give them a notebook and pen.
The goal is to help them tell their story. If getting started writing is tough, try fanfiction. Have them write the backstory for a character in a book they love. This is the perfect time to bring in other media too; what about their favorite movie or TV characters? They’re open to their own stories too!
Just give your kids the tools and space to use their imagination. The book they write may be simple, but it’s the exercise that matters! Helping young writers develop now will benefit your kids for their entire lives!
Read A Book!
That’s what National Book Month is all about; celebrating the joy of reading. So no matter how you celebrate, spark a love of reading for your kids this October.