With the September school holidays looming in the next few weeks, it might be a good time to consider helping your children organise a neighbourhood book trade.
Before the Trade
Set aside several time slots to help your children sort through their books and determine which books to keep and which to trade.
Help your children make signs for different categories of books: Picture Books, Series, Mysteries, Jokes, Nonfiction, Biographies, Historical.
Decide if it will be a book-for-a-book trade or if books will have a token value. If using tokens you will need to choose an appropriate tokens (perhaps counters or poker chips). If using tokens, decide on some rough guidelines for pricing. For example books can range in ‘price’ from 1 to 5 tokens.
Place an invite into your neighbours’ letter boxes advising them of the day, time and place of the book trade and whether it will be a direct trade or if they will need to price their books according to the token system.
Ask neighbours to decide what will happen to their books that are not traded. Left over books could be donated to a charity, play group or children’s hospital. Alternatively, if neighbours would like to keep un-traded books they can place a small round sticker on the cover of each book with their initial or street number.
To give it an ‘educational edge’ help your children make simple bookmarks that provide a one or two sentence summary of the books and a 1-5 star rating. Include this suggestion in your advertising flyer.
Day of the Trade
Ask your neighbours to place their books in the correct place according to the category signs. Check whether they want un-traded books returned or donated. If they are to be returned ensure that a small round sticker identifying the ‘seller’ has been placed on each book. Have some spare stickers for those that have forgotten this step.
If using a direct book-for-book trade, give each child a raffle ticket for each book brought to the trade. If using tokens give children the appropriate number of tokens according to how their books have been ‘priced’. The tickets or tokens are then used to purchase ‘new’ books.
Encourage parents to bring their children and participate in the trade rather than ‘dropping and running’.
At the End of the Trade
Return or donate un-traded books.
Sit back, relax, and enjoy one of the ‘new’ books with your children.