Welcome to Part 2! If you missed Part 1– You’ll want to CLICK HERE to see the invite, party decor, food, etc. We had so much fun at the Book Swap! The atmosphere was relaxed and allowed for the kids to shop with their parents and for time to just hang out and visit with one another. I wanted to have least one activity available in case some siblings or friends finished shopping before everyone else in their family. So, I printed a variety of book marks for our guests to color and cut some colorful strings for decoration. The kids seemed to really enjoy creating the book marks. I made a reward bookmark specifically for the event. For each book the kiddo reads during the summer, the parent can punch a circle and reward the child at the end of the summer. This seemed to be a big hit! Want a free download of the bookmark for your party? Click here for a PDF! Click here for JPEG! NOTE: Once you open the file and press print, be sure to open your print dialog box, choose to print multiple copies on one page and print on white card stock. I printed 4-6 copies per page to get the size I desired.
I also provided some comprehension worksheets for the über educational parents to encourage their kiddos to read and keep their minds sharp during the summer. These kids will surely be ready for school in the fall!
In the Living Room I hung a “Let’s Read” Pennant from the fireplace. Just a small message to encourage our guests to grab some books and read! I loved seeing little ones curl up on our sofas as some of them just could not wait to thumb through the pages of a new book. I used the same method I shared in my earlier Book Swap post for the small pennant wreath. Want the Google template for this banner? CLICK HERE!
I printed several little book covers and hung them on the two additional trees atop antique books on the mantle… It was a great conversation starter as many guests would comment about the books and fond memories surrounding them.
I also placed small antique booklets I created by sewing several pages together and then folding them to create books on terracotta saucers under glass cloches. Just a few small items balanced on either side of a painting or mirror create a perfectly dressed mantle for any occasion.
In the end, lots of kiddos were inspired to read and we all had a great time!
I would strongly encourage your friends to drop their books by your house a few days before your party. This will allow you to organize the books and for the kids to have equal opportunity to enjoy a first come first serve selection. Although several of our guests dropped books in advance, we found that as people came and went they would bring some books that were very desirable to kiddos that had just left. The inventory increased and decreased quickly so depending on when the guests arrived, they had a great selection or not much in their area of interest. We invited friends off all ages and that helped to have a wide variety of books.
We had a come and go event. I loved it. It allowed me to be laid back and visit with guests as they shopped for books. We never had too many families at once. It was a natural, steady flow. You could avoid the issue of dwindling inventory and create an environment for each kid to have a fair chance at a great book by having a start time and end time and rotate on a first come, first serve basis. It would just require you to lead the activity instead of just allowing everyone to shop at their leisure. We did not have any friends leave disappointed or upset that they did not get the book they wanted. I just noticed kiddos looking for certain levels of books and we did not have a large selection at times.
We had many kids bring 20-30 books and go home with 10. So prepare to have extra books after the swap. This is a great opportunity to donate books to a good cause. We had lots of books to donate. I didn’t count, but I’m guessing we had well over 100 to donate!
However you choose to organize your book swap, I am confident that it will be a great time! Be sure to leave a comment with your book swap ideas! We had such a great time, that I’m sure we will host another one!