Recently my cousin came to visit with her two children who are the same ages as my girls (2 and 3 years old give or take a couple months). The kids had a great time playing together, but the visit was short and it will probably be awhile until we see them again. I starting thinking of ways we could stay in touch and thus the idea of a “Book Buddies” was started.
Not only is it a great way for children to keep in touch, it is also a great way to promote literacy with children at an early age. As research shows time and time again, the benefits of reading with your children at a young age is HUGE.
For the first exchange, we picked the book Teacher’s Pet since the girls LOVE Clifford books right now. We bought two books (one to keep and one to send to our book buddies!). Since little kids attention spans are so short at this age, I divided the activities across a week. The first day, we simply read the book and talked about it. I let the girls turn the pages and I asked them questions about what I read (Who were the other dogs? What happened at the end? , ect.). The next day we drew a picture about their favorite part of the book. We might try painting in the future.
The following day, was “About the Book”. We discussed the title and author and what the book was about. I wrote down their answers on the activity sheet. We also gave the book either a thumbs up or thumbs down.
The next day was “Learning Letters”. I let my oldest (3 years old), pick three letters and we then looked through the book for words that started with these letters and wrote them on the activity sheet. We worked on letter sounds at the same time as we identified the letters.
The next day, was “Story Telling”. I asked the girls to tell me a story about their pictures they drew on the first day. This was more difficult for them to do, but the both told me a short story about their picture.
Finally, it was time to package up the book and activity sheets. I also included a letter to our book buddy.
I added a couple of snacks that their buddies could eat while they read the book, as well as a small Clifford dog. In the future, I think it would be cute to add snacks themed to the book. We plan on sending our package out tomorrow and are looking forward to a package in the mail from our book buddies. I think the girls will love reading the new book we receive and going through the activity sheets from our buddies, Matthew and Johnathan.
This first exchange was a trial run and so far, it has gone well. My cousin and I plan on doing the book exchange once a month….who knows maybe we will add an adult book too! (Although that might be a once year exchange since time is so sparse!)
Anyways, I would love to do an exchange with others if there is interest. Leave a message below if you would be interested in participating in a Book Exchange with your little one!
If not, you can still get a copy of the activity sheets, direction for setting of the exchange with a weekly schedule, and the intro letter HERE.