This summer, one of our goals was to have a book party each week. The idea came to me last winter when Will's eating was at its worse, and the only way I could get him to eat ANYTHING was to read to him at the table during dinner. Steven was working long hours then, and I was pretty exhausted with a new(ish) baby who had croup non-stop on top of a busy life. One night I made chicken stew and found "The Wolf's Chicken Stew" in our book shelf to read to the kids while they "ate" (ha. ha).
Anyway, I thought to myself 'when I have more energy, I will do a big old party for this book -- we will make the food from the book and do a craft and maybe invite friends."
Well, I never seemed to get any more energy, but summer is a great time to plan new traditions and things, so we went for it.
Our first book party of the summer was for The Wolf's Chicken Stew (a book dear to my heart, that I once referenced here). We ate donuts, cookies, and made a little pancake craft. And we invited the friends that came to wear aprons. I know I look enormously pregnant in that picture below... nope, just a bad angle... I hope. If I really look like that, my friends need to maybe say something and I should put down the chocolate chip cookies for a bit ;).
Oh yeah! We also pulled out my trusty red cups to stack them up and make a layer cake. So fun.
For our second book party, we celebrated The Boxcar Children. Don't you love those books? I like the mysteries a lot, but the first one is my favorite. We started reading it a few Sundays ago and really couldn't stop. In the evenings after getting Merit to bed, the kids would gather around and I'd read and read and read.
We kept this one pretty simple. I pan fried stew meat, carrots, potatoes and onions with garlic on my stove (my kids HATE any kind of broth, so it was supposed to be like the stew the kids make in the book and I thought it was pretty yummy). But first, I put a pink tea cup, some wheels from a lego set, paper plates and forks out on our trampoline. I assigned each of the kids a character from the book (Gage - Henry, Kjel - Jessie, Will - Bennie, Merit - Violet) and told them to act out the part in the book when Henry goes to work (Steven was the doctor and had Gage go move some rocks around the yard). Jessie (Kjel) brought "Benny" to The Dump (the trampoline) where they found their little treasures. Then Jessie set the table and Bennie played with his wheels while I finished making dinner.
We had milk in a pitcher (there's something really romantic about that), bread and butter, and the "stew". Then, I sent Gage up to his room where they were all playing with a brown lunch sack with chocolate chip cookies (like the bag that Henry comes home with from Dr. Moore's house).
It was simple and really fun.
This week I think we are going to celebrate Snuggle Piggie. Have you read it? It is one of my all-time favorite children's books. I want to have the kids bring their favorite blankets and set up our stuffed animals all around while we read it, then have a big dance party like all the animals do in the book.
Anyway, this is a fun way to really experience our favorite books and to just try to make life a little more magical for the kids without going to great expenses or great distances.