Right now I have three tweens and one preschooler. It is so easy to bond and play with my little preschooler-man. Do a puzzle, build with LEGOS, read a picture book while he snuggles on my lap, push him on the swing, and a million other ways to stay close and keep building our relationship.
With my tweens, it takes more work to keep the relationship growing. And I think we need to stay close now more than ever, because they’re going through stuff like puberty and … middle school … and both those things combined are enough to do anybody in. A lot of my tweens’ hobbies are introverted things like reading and drawing peacefully by themselves. We do have some favorite things to do together: board games, Nintendo tournaments, walks, and I paint regularly with them.
But I’m always searching for new ways to spend time with my tweens. Since reading is the #1 favorite thing of my 12-year-old twins, and the #2 favorite thing of my 10-year-old (her first love is cartwheels), I thought: a Tween & Mom book group. Of course, I don’t want to discourage dad’s from joining in, so we’re officially starting the 2018 Tween & Parent Book Club.
FAQs About Our Tween & Parent Book Club
How it will work: About once each month, I’ll post a new book idea WITH activity ideas to do together.
Ages of my kids: I have four kids and 3 of them are tween girls right now (12, 12, and 10).
Will the book picks be just for girls, since all of your tweens are girls?: Absolutely not! When my girls were a little younger and I was expecting my 4th baby (who just turned 5), I came home from a baby shower with a Dinosaur baby book. My girls looked at the book with confused expressions, then one piped up “Your friend doesn’t know that only girls like dinosaurs?!” They’ve always liked what they liked. They read quickly through all the Babysitter Club books, but their favorite book series are Michael Vey and Percy Jackson! I think there will be books for all the tweens.
Book #1: Wonder
Wonder is a very popular book right now, and for good reason. It is amazing!! This book has been one of my daughters’ favorites for a few years now. I recommend every tween (and even teen) read this book.
If you’ve already read the main book, Wonder, you could try reading one of the add-on books like Auggie & Me.
We gave this picture book, We’re All Wonders, to my son for his birthday last week too. Even little ones can learn so much from this inspiring story.
Activity Ideas for Wonder
Bake & Deliver Cookies
The theme of Wonder is to Choose Kindness and the book really shows us how to consider lots of perspectives. We may not know everyone’s personal experiences and the private battles they’re facing, so we should just choose kindness.
Our favorite way to show kindness is to make and deliver cookies. It can brighten a friend or neighbor’s day. Bake the cookies and talk about who you’ll deliver them to while you bake. Will it be a neighbor? A friend going through a tough time?
Thursday I shared the Snickerdoodle recipe we used for our deliveries, because Snickerdoodles are the best cookie ever.
Make it a Night Together: Watch the Movie
The DVD is finally up on Amazon! My girls have been asking me every few days since mid-December – “Is the DVD out yet?”
Create a special night together with popcorn and blanket! The movie being released now is why I actually chose this book first. We saw it in the theatre and are dying to see it again. It was soooo good.
Bubbles of Goodness
I hope you’ll join me and my kids on our new Book Club Adventure. Making memories with our kids is one of the most important things we do with our time.
Someone asked me a parenting question once about how to raise good kids in such a crazy and tumultuous world. I’m still learning and not the ultimate-expert, but my belief is that if you expose your child to A LOT OF GOODNESS, good music, good literature, good culture, good values, then the bad things don’t have much room left to creep in. We can’t raise our kids in bubbles, but we can surround them with a bubble of goodness that they carry with them wherever they go.
Please tell me if you’re joining in. I want to hear all about it!
From my home to yours,
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Tiffany Bush says
I love this idea! I’m a big reader but my kids are less so. I think this will be a great way to bond with my 11 yo daughter,and we will tr to talk my 13yo son into it. I think this is a great first choice.
Awesome! Glad you’re joining us and I hope your son opts in. I’ve got some books coming that I think he’ll probably like!
As my oldest turns 13 and my second is 11, I’m finding too that I need to find ways to connect with them and make sure they know HOME is their safe place, their team, their place. Middle school is hard, friendships are hard. My girls are usually mature and introverted and sometimes just don’t get middle school stuff. They come by that genetically! I’ve loved the idea of a mother-daughter/child book club for years. We’ve all read Wonder and seen the movie. Great idea using the cookies to act on the kindness theme. Right now I’m reading the Card Turner (which they both have also read)–there’s a significant Bridge (card game) theme. So looking forward to exploring that game with my girls when I’m done. I’ll watch for your next choices. My biggest challenge will be keeping up with them on the reading! They are voracious!
Exactly – I want my kids to feel that too – that home is where they belong, especially when life is hard in middle school. My introverted girls also don’t get all the middle school drama stuff either. I’ve not read the Card Turner book. I will look into that – thanks for the suggestion.
Rhonda H says
Hi, Mary! So glad you brought this book to our attention. It goes on our “Read-Aloud List”! Blogger Sarah Mackenzie at “Read Aloud Revival” has some great suggestions, including one I’m implementing : using a reading journal/log. Headed out to find a copy of Wonder.
Rhonda H says
Oh, and she has a new book out called, The Read Aloud Family, Making Connections with your Kids
That’s cool. Thanks!
This was an exciting tidbit to stumble upon! I’d not heard of RAR until I read your comment and I’m so glad you shared that info…what a goldmine! Thank you!
You’ll definitely be able to find a copy – super popular book right now. Thanks for the tip – I’ll look into RAR. 🙂
Yay! I have a tween, my oldest, and bonding has changed. We’re still close, it’s just different 🙂 We’re joining this club! Question – we haven’t seen the movie yet- would you say it’s good for little kids, too? Five year olds?
Yes! I didn’t take my 5 year old to the movie theatre, but I’m planning on showing him at home. He tends to say whatever is on his mind, without filter, even at a movie theatre. I was afraid he’d be like “why does that little boy look like that?” really loud in the middle of the movie! At home, we can pause and answer his question. 🙂