Last week on a rainy afternoon, I pulled out the ol’ craft supplies and gathered the children around to sing songs and make shit.
Hahaha! Just kidding.
But we did make a cute little craft called a Book Chain. I had the kids cut construction paper into strips. We measured out one-inch strips using a ruler. You can do this for them, but I needed this particular craft to fill a good chunk of time while I got some chores done in the kitchen, so I made them cut the strips themselves.
Once they had a bunch of strips, I had them go get all the books they had read this summer from their rooms. While they were doing this, I pulled up our library card record so we had a list of all the books we had checked out so far this summer. For each strip of paper, the kids wrote the name of a book they had read and then drew a little picture about that book.
Bean took his drawings super seriously. He spent almost ten minutes on each one. Gracie and I used mostly stick figures. And, yes, I made them for the books I have read, too. Nothing builds readers more than seeing their parents as readers!
We spent over an hour on our book strips and still didn’t finish them all. I put any unused strips in a Ziplock and kept it in our craft closet so we can easily grab more throughout the summer.
When we finished our strips for the day, we linked them altogether in one big chain. We hung the chain in the hallway between the kids’ bedrooms. And they love their book chain! It reminds them to keep reading so they can keep adding links to it. And they love reading back through the list of their books, too.
This was a super simple craft that I used to do with my middle school students, too. They got a link for every book they read and they would sign their names and the title of the book. I would link them all throughout the ceiling in my classroom and it would take over the room like crazy! I loved it and they loved it… until the fire marshal came one year and told me I had to take it down. Womp, womp.
So, there you are. A quick, little summer craft to encourage reading and a love of books. You get, like, 5,000 parenting gold stars for this craft. *****