If you’re like me, there is nothing more joyful than having real conversations with your littles.
There are lots of ways to accomplish that, from carving out special time to having family meals together without technology to implementing a family game night. But have you ever considered family book talks?
Gathering together once a week to talk about what your kids are reading can spark some interesting, lively conversations. Hearing the stories that intrigue your littles, their reactions to different events within their books, can give real insight into what they’re thinking and feeling.
Why we love book talk night
When the boys were younger, there was nothing funnier than hearing Littlest recount Greg’s latest adventures in the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series. He has a lively sense of humor and a talent for retelling the tales. Now he usually has a new zombie book to thrill us with, and I love listening to how he would handle himself if he were stuck in a zombie apocalypse. His plans are grandiose, but it’s so cool to see the careful thought he puts into them.
From Middle, we usually hear what he’s learned about the Greek, Roman, or Egyptian pantheon from his latest fantasy series. (Middle is enthralled with the idea of gods who take human form and get involved in human activities on a personal level. Plus, he loves the action). He saves the best parts to include in the video games he’s planning to create, so I get to hear what’s going on with his future business when he talks about the books he’s reading.
I tell them what’s going on in whatever book I’m reading (and it’s always YA or middle grade), which helps when I write a review for my lovely readers because it keeps things fresh in my mind. My beautiful husband isn’t a book reader, but he shares articles he’s read in magazines and newspapers, adding a bit of current events to our fantasy world.
How to host a family book talk
Starting a family book talk night is as easy as starting a family game night.
Pick a night when there are no other activities to interfere and set aside an hour. Make popcorn or some other healthy snack, gather in a comfortable room, and dive in.
Have each child share whatever he wishes about the book he’s currently reading.
Be sure to ask your kids intelligent questions about whatever they share and give encouraging feedback to keep them interested. Ask them about the characters and setting, have them define the problem the main character has to solve, and find out what they would do if they were in the story.
Make sure you have something to share, too, whether it be fiction or nonfiction, books or articles.
Family book talks help keep your kids reading on their own. Who wants to show up for such a fun hour with nothing to share? Most importantly, it reminds your kids that they are the most important thing in your life. That you love to spend time with them, hear what they have to say, and have fun with them. And isn’t that what really matters?