Book Swap with Family and Friends

09 May 2015 / 4 comments
Hello!! It's Em from Curious Firsties.  Anyone have some children or adult books that they are tired of?

Book can get rid of some old books but leave with new ones.  And depending on how and where you want to host your party, it is a fun way to involve families, students, or friends.  I decided to try out a party with family, neighbors, and friends.  Since my kids are younger and I teach first grade, I decided to invite kids in PreK-2nd grade.

After deciding on the age range to target, I had to think about the following questions:
  • How many books did I want each guest to bring?
  • Where was I going to put all the books?
  • Should I have other activities available?
Everyone seems to have a wide range of books in their homes; therefore, I did not want anyone to feel tied down to a particular number.  Instead I used tickets.

When each family arrived to the Book Swap event, they received 1 ticket for each book that they brought.  Then we placed all the books out on the "red carpet" (or red bulletin board paper) so that they could be browsed by all.

Each kid got time to look through the books, read through the books, or talk about the books with friends and family.  Once they made a decision they could turn in their tickets for the "new" books that they wanted.

I decided that since I picked a PreK-2nd age range, I did want to have some other activities available to them.  There was a bookmark station for each kid to design their own bookmark.

Chalk was also available for drawing and writing on the back porch.  And of course it would not be a party without some ice cream and sprinkles!  The event ended with a picnic.  Each family found a spot around the yard to enjoy their lunch together.

A book swap was a really fun event to host for family and friends but I have also seen it work in the classroom.  You could invite families into your school to swap out books with each other.  It would be a great opportunity to discuss the importance of reading at home, introduce ways to incorporate more reading into everyday routines, or pass out a list of websites that offer free e-books.

If you are at a school like mine...your students may not have books in their homes.  A book swap could still occur but with books from your classroom library.  Students could write up a short book review of their favorite book from your library.  Then all the books could be laid out on the "red carpet."  Students could browse for a new book to read while in your classroom!

I put the resources needed in a pack, if you would like to host your own.  There is a fall, winter, and spring/summer version.  But they all include: 
how-to directions
checklist for event
book tickets (color and blk & wht)
banners (color and blk & wht)
bookmarks (color and blk & wht)

Happy Book-Swapping!


  1. I love a good book swap! We do a "Family Reading Night" each year and admission is a gently used book. Then one of the events for the evening is a "book walk" (think cake walk). When the kiddos win they get to choose a book. Everyone wins of course. We have a section for grown up books too! Thanks for the great post!
    Primary Planet!

    1. Oh my!! I love this idea! I would like to do this next year! The only problem is that many of our homes do not have books....but I could give books! The more books in their homes the better! Thank you so much for the idea.

  2. I LOVE this idea! I'm going to suggest it to the other teachers and try to get at least a few classes to participate at the end of this year. So much fun! Thanks for sharing!
    Teacher Treasure Hunter

    1. I would love to hear how it goes!! I wish that we could do this at our school but I plan to do another swap this summer with friends and family! It was just a good time for all!


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