One of the things that makes our kids book subscription unique is that there is more to it than just books. Obviously, they are still the main event! Our goal is to introduce our subscribers to great new children’s books that we don’t think you will easily discover for yourselves. You can read more about how we choose them here. We also want to make sure that the reading experience is fun for everyone and we want to get the whole family involved. We believe that reading is a social experience and we want to get kids and families talking about books. We also believe there’s more we can do to get kids thinking and engaging more deeply with what they’re reading.
Our carefully curated monthly parcels are designed to take the reading experience beyond the page. So, as well as a fabulous new book, each month our subscribers also receive a fun-filled activity pack that includes:
1. Book club-style questions
We love talking about books and we’re passionate about the many benefits that a bit of book chat brings. Talking about books allows us to explore what they mean to us and how they relate to our own lives. Each book we send our subscribers is accompanied by a set of book club-style questions designed to help stimulate that valuable book chat at home. It’s not about quizzing them with comprehension style questions. The questions we include are designed to make them think about how the book makes them feel and how they can relate to the characters. One of the many benefits of reading for pleasure is that it helps our children develop a stronger sense of empathy. Their thoughtful responses to the book club-style questions in our packs might just surprise you!
2. Fun word puzzles and games
Of course, another great benefit of a child reading for pleasure is that it helps develop their vocabulary and literacy skills. Each activity pack includes a page of word puzzles inspired by the theme and vocabulary in that month’s book. From crosswords and word searches, to logic puzzles, anagrams and codebreakers, these activities are a fun way to further explore the vocabulary in each month’s book. We also include a ‘word of the month’ and often highlight key words and phrases from other countries and languages that might feature in the book, too.
3. Drawing and design activities
Whether or not a book is illustrated, it will nevertheless spark your child’s imagination. When our children read or listen to a fictional story, they are left to fill in all sorts of gaps and to picture what the author is describing for themselves. Reading and listening to stories encourages them to flex their creative muscles – and helps them understand that there are no rules or right and wrong answers when it comes to thinking creatively. Each of our activity packs includes a drawing or design activity, inspired by the book and illustrated by the very talented Elizabeth Sevenoaks, to help get their creative juices flowing.
4. A craft or science activity
Another great way to get kids thinking and talking more constructively about the books they are reading, and to get the whole family involved too, is to plan activities that relate to them. Each of our packs includes ideas for easy craft or science activities that will help bring the stories they’ve read alive. It’s a great way of helping your child connect the stories they’re reading with their own experiences and inspiring some lively and interactive discussions in the process. And if an activity calls for something that you might not easily have to hand (for example stickers, ribbon, pipe cleaners etc), we include that in the pack too.
5. A recipe
We don’t know about yours, but our kids love to cook! Food is a common feature of many children’s books and another great way of bringing a book alive. All our activity packs include a simple recipe inspired by a food that features somewhere in the book. Often these are national dishes from a country where the book is set or which the characters visit. Our subscribers have made everything from jollof rice to cinnamon buns, Welsh cakes to chocolate mice!
6. Fun facts and jokes
We all know that kids love facts – and the occasional joke! Each of our activity packs includes a page of facts highlighting a theme or topic that features in the book. We’ve covered everything from rap music to the Masai Mara, from robotics to labyrinths, from life in New York to pirates and puffins. We’re also lucky to work with a whole host of fabulous authors and our packs often include an interview with the author of that month’s book in which they tell us all about what inspired them to write it, their own reading habits and their favourite books.
7. Book recommendations
We send you one great book a month, but we know that many voracious young readers need a steady stream of new books to keep them going in the meantime. Parents often tell us that they can’t keep up and don’t know where to turn for quality book recommendations. So, each month we include a list of two or three more great books that we think you’ll love.
8. A review card … because we want to hear what you think!
We love hearing directly from our subscribers. Each month we include a review card and invite them to send us a short review or a drawing inspired by the book. Just pop a stamp on and send it back to us, or alternatively share it with us on social media.
All of this comes in a handy A5 design, on sturdy writable card, so the activity packs are durable and perfect for popping in your handbag or luggage when you’re travelling. We think they make the perfect addition to our monthly parcels and are ideal for getting kids excited about reading and talking about books.
Are you keen to supercharge your child’s love of reading but feel like you could be doing more to support them? We know that discovering, purchasing and recommending books that maintain your child’s enthusiasm for reading, helping them to reach their full potential, is time consuming. Why not let us take that off your to-do list? With a Parrot Street Book Club subscription your child receives a carefully chosen new children’s book and accompanying activity pack through the post each month. Prices start from £12 per month. Find out more here.