Summer means getting outside for learning. What better way to take the classroom outside than to hold an outdoor book tasting for kids?
I mean, this stuff is fun. It’s an incredible way to get kids engaged in reading and excited about my favorite-ist thing in the whole wide world–BOOKS!
If you have kiddos who are interested in one genre and like to stick to it, a book tasting is a great way to introduce them to new stuff. If you have some friends you can invite over to take part, ask them to bring books with them so there’s a large variety. Your kiddos are sure to find something new to read, even if you just check out new books from the library to use.
A book tasting is very like a wine or food tasting, but a lot easier to put together. And nobody gets drunk or fat as a result!
How to hold an outdoor book tasting
Pick the books
- Gather books from 4-6 Genres
- Make them as diverse as possible
- Choose different authors and character types
- Include authors your kids have enjoyed before
- Find new authors or genres that your kids haven’t experienced
Set the tables
- Set up as many tables as there are genres (or at least be ready to switch things out when the kids are finished with each tasting)
- Use placemats–you want this to look like a restaurant (and honestly, I used construction paper for the mats!)
- Set each place with a plate, a place holder card that identifies the genre, a menu, a book list (you can grab all the free printables for these at the bottom of the post), and a pencil.
- If you’re setting up a fantasy table, put a fantasy book on each plate. If you have extras, set them in the middle.
- Do the same for all other genres
Let the kids taste the books
- For each table, the kids should have a menu on the left side their place. Have them fill in the title of the book on their menu and read the synopsis to get an idea what the book is about.
- Give them 3-4 minutes to begin reading the book. When the time is up, have them fill in what the book is about on the menu, rate the book, and circle Y or N, depending on whether or not they would read the book.
- If the book looks interesting enough, they can add it to their book list on the right side of their place setting.
- Have the kids take their menus and book lists to next setting at the table (in a wonderfully Mad Tea Party kind of way) and have them taste the book at that setting.
- When all the kids have tasted all the books at that table, have them move to the next genre, either by switching tables or switching out the books, place holders, and menus.
It’s always a good idea to have food and drinks around for kids. Set out popcorn, cookies, pretzels, or any ol’ thing you choose, and this tasting will be even more fun. Instead of soda, consider serving Mint Lemonade in special cups to make them feel even fancier.
Mint Lemonade Recipe
What you need:
- 2 cups boiling water
- 2-4 sprigs fresh mint
- 1 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 1/2 cups fresh-squeezed lemon juice
- 6 cups cold water
- Extra mint sprigs and lemon slices for garnish
What you do:
- In a small saucepan, add sugar to boiling water and stir till dissolved
- Remove from heat
- Add mint sprigs and allow to cool to room temperature
- Remove mint sprigs
- Cover, put in refrigerator, and cool 1 hour
- In pitcher, stir together chilled mint syrup, lemon juice, and cold water
- Serve in individual glasses over ice with a mint sprig and a lemon slice for garnish
These printables will download right away. You don’t have to subscribe to get them (but you can totally subscribe if you want to, because that Hobbit freebie! Swoon!). I just want you to have fun hosting your own book tasting. No strings, my friends. Just click on the picture and print till your heart’s content.
Just setting this up to take pics for you made my boys choose a few new books to put on their list. And these books have been sitting on their shelves for years. I’m telling you, this gets them excited.
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