The Great Big Book of Families

This past weekend, we hosted our first weekend book club meeting. To accommodate the working parents in the group, we have decided to include four book club meetings on weekends this year, whereas we host our other meetings during the week. The weekend meetings are an event for the whole family, so what better way to kick off our weekend meetings that to read a book about families!

We chose to read, The Great Big Book of Families by Mary Hoffman, which describes the diversity of families by taking readers through the many ways that families can vary. The book discusses who family members can include, where families can live, what they wear, what they eat, where they go to school, their celebrations, and their hobbies among other characteristics. The book is very inclusive of all types of families and ends with a question to readers about who is included in their family tree. This was the question each child and family answered at our meeting.

As the kids arrived with their families, they used green washable paint to finger paint the “leaves” on a tree trunk (that the parents sketched on the paper). We then let the paint dry while we read the book as a group and had our snack (which was actually more of a meal this time).

Each family brought food for a potluck style meal that represented their family or was a family favorite. Before we ate, we gathered around to share the meaning behind each contribution.

After eating, the painted trees were (mostly) dry, so the kids used photos of family members to adorn their trees. Each family decided who they wanted to include on their tree and how they wanted the photos they brought displayed. The adults helped the kids cut, arrange, and glue the photos onto the tree.

This was the first time that these kids had made family trees and they seemed to especially enjoy seeing pictures of their family members as they worked. As parents, we also loved that there were about double the number of adults at this meeting (since the whole family participated), which gave us many more hands to help!

Lots of exciting books and book club meetings to share about in the upcoming weeks including a bubble book with a lot of alliteration (see what I did there?!)  and one featuring a particularly well known hungry caterpillar–check back soon!

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