For Readers

6 Book-ish Summer/Holiday Activities for Kids

By: Kate Stead on June 4, 2019

Our Hidden Gems guest author for today.

By: Kate Stead on June 4, 2019


Aaah… school holidays and summer vacation. Sometimes fabulous, sometimes horrible. Like many parents, Chris and Kate Stead, founders of the children’s publishing company Old Mate Media, have a love/hate relationship with school breaks. Like most of us, they struggle with the never-ending challenge of finding inexpensive and fun activities to do with the kids. The good news is, they’ve discovered some fabulous book related options to share with us. Here are six bookish activities that Kate has put together for you to do with the young ones during school holidays or when they’re home in the summer.

1: Visit the Library

I can hear you all groaning. This seems so obvious that it’s barely worth including. But when did you actually last visit the library with your kids? Our children love going to the library and often they will run school holiday specific activities for kids.

If they don’t have something on, you can create a challenge to make it more fun. Perhaps pick a letter and then get the kids to pick five books that start with that letter or are written by an author whose name starts with that letter. Or you could do the same thing with a color, or an animal or any other option you can think of. Just don’t make it too challenging.

2: Go Second-hand Book Shopping

Do you ever buy books from thrift shops? We do all the time and again it is a favorite activity for our kids. We give the kids a budget or a number of books they can buy.  This doesn’t need to be much, just a few dollars or a couple of titles. Then we take them down to the local thrift store and let them loose in the book section.

There is always a lot of discussion, debate and wrangling around which is the best book to buy. It’s fun, can be painful, but provides good lessons in budgeting and making choices as well as bringing in new fun books to your library.

3: Act out a Poem

This is a fun one for a rainy day when you do not want to leave the house.

Find a poem – not a long one – and read it to your kids. Read it with passion, as over the top as you can. Then ask them to pick a line and do the same. You can find some costumes to extend the activity and before too long you will have a whole performance ready to go to show parents, grandparents or neighbors.

4: Make An Alphabet Poster

Everyone learns differently and creating an alphabet poster can be an excellent way for physical/kinaesthetic learners to remember their letters. Grab 26 pieces of A4 or A3 paper.

Get the kids to draw a big letter on each piece of paper. You might need some spare pages in case their writing doesn’t go so well. Then they can draw pictures around the letter of things that start with that letter.

As an example, for the letter A they may draw an apple, ant, arrow, axe or airplane.

This is a good activity to keep going over several days, with different letters on each day. As each letter is completed you can find somewhere to hang it up around the house and soon enough you’ll have a complete alphabet.

5: Review Some Books for Independent Authors

Since you’re reading this on Hidden Gems, you’re probably already aware of the thousands of new books published each year by independent authors. These aren’t just Science Fiction or Romance novels, but kids books as well.  From picture books for toddlers all the way up to YA.  These authors do all their own marketing and promotion and are always in need of new readers and people to review their books as a way to help spread the word.

Why not enlist your children as a reviewing team. Get a new book and read it with your kids. Then ask them to give you their honest review. Write your review together on Amazon or Goodreads. You can even record a video of your kids talking about the book. You don’t even have to share the video anywhere, we find our kids just love the idea of talking to camera about their opinions.

You can get new independent books by following small publishers like us, or signing up for a service like Hidden Gems that sends you the books for free!

6: Create a Homemade Bookmark

Such an easy fun craft activity that also reminds kids about books and reading. Our kids love crafty activities, even our super energetic three-year-old will sit briefly to do some crafts.

Get some thick cardboard and cut it into a bookmark shape. Then give your kids all the crafty supplies you wish to have distributed around your home and potentially onto the bookmark.

This is a great activity to do if there is a couple of family birthdays coming up. Family members always love a homemade children’s gift. Plus, that gives you the bonus of being able to offload some of the crafty creations.


There you have it. Six easy and fun bookish activities for kids that will entertain your tribe in the school holidays. Moreover, hopefully making them want to read more books. Learning and entertaining all together, it is a truly winning combination.

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About the Author

Our Hidden Gems guest author for today.

Kate Stead is the co-founder of Old Mate Media, an independent children’s publishing company, in Sydney, Australia. She and her husband Chris create engaging, entertaining children’s picture books for energetic kids that fuel their imaginations and drive their early learning. You can learn more about their books at and find them on all the social channels under Old Mate Media.

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  • Love suggestion #5 to support an independent author and post a review on Amazon and Goodreads. I am a self-published author with two books on, HIGH IN THE SKY and FOR NO REASON ( Both titles are also in over 300 branch libraries across Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

  • Thanks so much for featuring my article. I really enjoyed putting together these activities for your readers. We do love a good bookish activity at Old Mate Media.