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Book-themed activities for children

The children's corner at Jaffe & Neale
The children’s corner at Jaffe & Neale

It’s the school holidays in many parts of the UK, so if you’re already struggling for inspiration to entertain the children, why not try something book-related? Here are our top five activities:

1) Reading

Okay, so that’s an obvious one, but try mixing it up a little. Big children reading to smaller ones; small children reading to grown ups… Dig out old favourites, buy or borrow new ones, and read aloud to each other. Check out our previous post for the benefits of what is sometimes called ‘shared reading‘.

2) Act out a favourite book

This is a great activity for younger children, and something the whole family can enjoy. Raid the dressing-up box (and Mum’s wardrobe), get out the face paints, and put on a performance. Older children enjoy mixing this up into a form of charades, where the audience (other family members) has to guess which book is being performed.

3) Make a book bag

Perfect for pre-schoolers, this activity mixes sensory play with storytelling. Read a favourite picture book, then collect objects that relate to the story to go in your bag. You might include some leaves, or a large pebble, or perhaps an item of clothing. Once the bag is finished, take it in turns to use the props to tell a part of the story. (A Books Are My Bag tote bag is perfect for this!)

4) Write a book

This might sound like a daunting task, but it’s a great project for longer holidays. Older children might write a story on their own, while younger ones can help with illustration, or with shaping the story for you to write on their behalf. It doesn’t have to be fiction: think about writing your family history, or simply an account of your holiday.

5) Storytelling

Remember playing Consequences? Some of us lose the art of making up stories as we get older, so it’s great to revisit it with our children. Explain to them that all good tales need a beginning, a middle and an end, and use one of their favourite books to illustrate what you mean. Use this structure to build a collaborative story, either to be written down, or simply told out loud.

Whatever you do over the holidays, enjoy them. Jaffé & Neale is open every day for book browsing, coffee and cake, so pop in and tell us what you’ve been up to!

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