Are you planning a birthday party for your little one? Make it bookish!
1. Choose a Book Your Child Loves.
I’m always looking for ways to create a culture of reading in our home, so when it came time to pick a theme for my daughter’s first birthday party, we went with her favorite book–Never Touch a Monster by Stuart Lynch.
She helped pick this adorable touch and feel board book at her daycare’s Scholastic Book Fair and it has been well loved this year–to the point that I had to sneakily replace it when it began to fall apart from all of my little bookworm’s chewing! (This also made me extra happy because in my pre-librarian life I worked at Scholastic). I highly recommend this one to any babies in your life as a funny, interactive read aloud they won’t be able to get enough of.
Basing a birthday party theme on a favorite book would also work for older children. Some books that might lend themselves well are Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, the Dino sports books, Harry Potter, Curious George, Land of Stories, The Lorax, the Rainbow Magic fairies series, Pete the Cat, Elephant and Piggie, Pinkilicious, and Wings of Fire.
2. Order or Make Decorations that Relate to the Story.
I have seen official book decorations, such as The Very Hungry Caterpillar and Brown Bear, Brown Bear. Those are wonderful, but you can buy or make related decorations if it’s a different book your child loves. So if your little one is a big Wings of Fire fan, you could look for dragon decorations. For the Rainbow Magic fairy books, go with a fairy theme or for The Lorax, you could try making truffula trees. Then you can also display copies of the book, either your own or from a library.
For the Never Touch a Monster book we ordered some monster decorations that looked similar to the characters in the story. We also bought two new related touch and feel titles for our celebration we thought our little reader would love–That’s Not My Monster… by Fiona Watt and Never Touch a Dinosaur by Stuart Lynch. The books were able to double as decorations and party entertainment as well. I wasn’t feeling particularly crafty so this was a way to make the party feel special for her without taking much effort!
3. Buy Books for Birthday Presents.
If you’re like me and try to get most of your books at the library, this is a good excuse to stock up on some new titles! Used bookstores and kids’ tag sales are also a great way to buy children’s books on a budget.
I found the presents I wanted while browsing at a fantastic independent bookstore I visited on a recent trip to Colorado: Boulder Bookstore. They had such a wonderful children’s section to discover new books in and it always makes me happy if I can support an independent bookstore.
The board books I chose for my little bookworm are Pride and Prejudice: A Counting Primer (A Baby Lit Book) by Jennifer Adams, My Little Cities: Paris by Jennifer Adams, and Baby Loves Aerospace Engineering by Ruth Spiro. These books are each part of a series with beautiful illustrations and interesting stories for children in the areas of literature, science, and travel (click on the links to see more titles). I also found an adorable Little Feminist board book set with pages on many important women “Artists”, “Leaders”, “Activists” and “Pioneers” such as Maya Angelou, Queen Elizabeth I, Malala Yousafzai, and Sally Ride.
4. Write your Child Birthday Messages Inside the Books.
These were perfect titles to share thoughts on wishing her a life where she can follow her dreams and do anything she sets her mind to! I’m hoping to start a tradition of giving my daughter books every year for her birthday with keepsake messages written inside. You could write your child a message on their birthday book each year and then keep them on a special shelf.
5. Enjoy the Party and Read the Books with your Little One!
Celebrate, play, and read on the day of the party. Then you can continue to enjoy any books you’ve given as presents during daily read alouds together!