Creating your own “lending library” system with one or more partner families is an easy way to help friends interact with one another from a distance. Plus, it’s an economical way to mix up your home book collection. This activity is great because you can keep it simple or you can weave in lots of creative side projects as you prepare your swap.
1. Reach out to another family to invite them to do a book exchange. (Send them the link to this blog post!)
2. Ask your child to select a few books that they’d like to lend to a friend.
3. Label the inside of each book with your child or family’s name so that the recipient family can keep track of which books they’re borrowing. This can be an activity in itself if your kids use the paper and colored pencils or markers to create decorative name plates to glue inside the front cover of each book.
4. Place all the labeled books in a tote bag or box for delivering to the other family.
5. Insert a book list that inventories all the books you’ve included. To make this piece extra engaging, print out and fill in this Book Log so that the recipient children can quickly indicate whether they liked each book.
6. Optional: Print out and send along “Book Review” forms so that the kids receiving these books can create book reviews to send back to your children!
7. Arrange to safely exchange book collections with your lending partner.
After you’ve done a first round of swapping books back and forth, try again with the same family and a different set of books, or invite a new family to participate!
Article adapted from Barefoot Books. Author: Stefanie Paige Wieder, M.S.Ed