American Girl Book Club.
A couple of years ago when my twin girls were in 3rd grade their teacher introduced the American Girl Books with Felicity. We decided then and there we needed to start an American Girl Book Club party.
We started off with Felicity, Kristen, and Kaya.
It was decided that a Mother/Daughter book club would be especially fun.
Here are a few of the details:
*Each Mother/Daughter would dress in the time period and also bring a dish that was from a recipe of the era or something that they ate in during the time period of the book we would be discussing. We also let everyone on our invite list know that we would read a book one month and then the next month we would have our book club get together.
*The girls and I made invitations one month in advance of our first book club party. We included details of dressing in the time period and bringing a recipe dish from the time period as well as the book we had chosen.
*With the help of some wonderful moms in the group, the girls and I created a great party. (I think this was key to pulling off a great party…knowing that you can call other moms to help you and your girls out. It also helps to build camaraderie in pulling the book club together every other month.)
*We researched the time period beyond the book looking for famous women, politics of the time, fashion, what women and men did, the state of the country (colonies), what games the kids played, what school was like, what kinds of homes they had, plumbing and electricity of 1774 (zilch), etc.
*We created a timeline game with events that could be taped onto the timeline that we put on a huge table.
*For our book discussion we made a little list of questions that we could discuss. We divided into two groups since our club is so big. Half way through our discussion we divided into different groups again so that we could hear other people’s thoughts on the book.
*The girls and I learned a dance from 1774 that we taught to the other moms and daughters.
Your book club can be super simple or super detailed. You get to decide and the club may be different based on what moms and/or book is chosen for the next two months.
During one book club we were reading and discussing “Meet Kaya”. The weather was blue skies and puffy clouds and just right temperatures.
When we arrived and saw the life-sized Teepee the girls were so excited. I knew before the big day that is was going to be a great party. I had no idea that we would be next to a pond on acres and acres of land. The location itself was so much like the place Kaya’s family had set up the temporary village.
We sat around talking about what it would be like to be Kaya:
to be responsible for the younger children
weave and make beautiful beaded things
cook dinner, go to the bathroom outside
cook dinner for your family over a fire
eat mostly roots, berries, and the deer the men would kill
We also talked about how important it is that you create the story of your own life. You get to choose how it plays out.
Once we were done discussing our book, everyone crowded around the table to eat fruits, beef jerky, salmon jerky, and nuts.
The girls even got to create their own bead bracelet by learning the ancient art of beading.
My favorite part was when the activities were over and the girls ran around the land, wading into the pond looking for tadpoles, finding blue robin’s eggs, swinging in the hammock, giggling, discovering, exploring, and completely unaware that the world, outside of that little bit of land, was moving at the speed of light everywhere else on the planet.
We stepped back in time and walked and played with Kaya for those couple of hours on a Saturday in May.
What books have come alive for your children? How did you help them to foster a love of reading and books?