Chances are, you can think back to a few memorable dates you had with someone special in your life. Those memories are likely treasured and close to your heart — sharing times with someone you love gave them significance. We can achieve those same feelings with our kids through book dates. Just imagine your child carrying a life-long memory of spending time with family while enjoying great books!
Here are five ideas for book-related activities you can do together as a family:
1. Book & Dinner: Pick a book to read as a family. It could be a picture book that can be read in one sitting, or a chapter book that you read over the course of several days. As you read to your child, talk about any food that the characters eat or might eat in the story. Then, for dinner have those same foods. Your dinner conversation can revolve around the book as well. Let each person discuss their favorite part of the story. Ask each other, "If you could be a character in the book, who would you choose? Why?"
Try reading Strega Nona by Tomie dePaola and then cooking a big pot of pasta together for dinner. Round out the meal with a salad and garlic bread. An Italian dessert such as an Italian cream cake or a cannoli will take your date night up a notch.
2. Book & Movie: Select a book that became a movie. Read the book together and then enjoy an evening watching the movie version of the story. Don't forget the popcorn! Afterward, discuss how the movie version compared to the book.
For example, you might choose to read the classic Charlotte's Web by E.B. White. Then, watch a movie version of the story — choose from the cartoon version from 1972 (my personal favorite), or a more modern version from 2006.
Another fun Book & Movie date night selection would be to read Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl and then watch Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory from 1971 or the 2005 version titled Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
3. Indoor Reading Picnic: Lay a blanket on the floor. Bring a basket of books to the picnic and a few snacks such as cheese and crackers. Enjoy reading together.
4. Sunday Morning Comics: Pour cups of coffee for the adults and hot chocolate for the kids. Then, enjoy reading comics or graphic novels at the kitchen table.
5. Book Walk: Read a book together and then head out for a walk to discuss the story and get your daily exercise. The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats is a great choice for a wintry day outing.
Gather the family and set the date. You'll be reading happily ever after! Share your ideas for stellar book date nights for kids and parents on the Scholastic Parents Facebook page.
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