​Fresh Ideas for Hosting an Exciting Book Fair

By Doris Ogle, Book Fair Chairperson at Foothills Child Development Center in Easley, South Carolina
 
Fun during Milk and Cookies DayWe challenge our staff to read 100 books from the fair the two weeks we have it. They document the day and the book as they're read, and then turn in their list at the end of the fair. All teachers who read 100 books get $25 for their classroom library.
 
We also have teachers fill out a wish list and challenge our parents to buy all of the books for their classroom, so the classroom can win the book basket surprise. The basket is full of books, bookmarks, pencils, etc. from the fair and we use our Scholastic Dollars to do this. We ended up with approximately $900 worth of books donated to classrooms.
 
We invite grandparents to a milk and cookie snack day where they come into the classroom and read books from the book fair to the children. We have probably 60 grandparents come to read. Depending on the student's age, they all react differently to their grandparents coming in. Some want to sit in their laps, some fuss, some think it is funny.
 
The staff also reads books from the fair to encourage children to have parents buy those books. The staff could choose when to read to them, such as during circle time, while waiting for others to potty and get ready for lunch, right before naptime, during snack time outside on a blanket – any way they chose. There were lots of books the children asked parents to buy because their teacher read it to them.
 
My assistant directors also put a featured book of the day on the desk with a poster saying this is today’s feature book.
 
We have wonderful support from our parents and have always had great book fairs. We average about $3,000 in sales each book fair and do two per year. 
 
I hope some of these ideas would be new and help others have a great fair.