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Gamify your kids' books

Earlier this month, I turned my kids' books into a "book quilt" in an effort to reconnect to our home library ( Now, as the month of May draws to an end, I continue to find it a challenge to encourage my children to enjoy re-reading the books in our home. Oh, how we miss our libraries!

But this week we had some success with a sneaky game I devised to get my children to interact with our books in a new way. I call it "Bookshelf Treasure Hunt":

In this game, your child will hunt through their books to find hidden pieces of paper you have placed inside. Your pieces of paper can be put together to form one word or one sentence. Or it could even be pieces of a map that need to be put together to lead your child to a surprise.

  1. Select around 10-15 books that would most appeal to your child.

  2. For pre-schoolers: use Post-it notes or little pieces of paper and write one letter on each piece of paper to spell a simple word, like L-O-V-E. You will hide each letter in some of the books from the pile for your child to hunt through.

  3. For children 6 and up: use Post-it notes or little pieces of paper and write one word on each piece of paper to build a sentence. It could even be directions to where a surprise is hidden in your home!

  4. After hiding the pieces of paper well inside the pages of the books (i.e. not sticking out at all), arrange them in a box, basket or pile in an area of your home where your child could read and enjoy their books comfortably.

  5. Give your child plenty of time to look through their books and try to discover the hidden "treasure". Sometimes they will look through a book and miss it altogether. This game takes a little patience!

  6. You might find that as your child looks through their books, they find themselves browsing, skimming, or even reading. Wonderful! That is what this activity is all about - reminding our kids about how great their books are and why these are their favorites.

  7. When all of the pieces of paper/Post-its are found, your child will put the letters/words together to solve the "mystery".

Enjoy the game and happy (re)reading! There are so many variations possible here and I would love to hear how you have adapted this activity to make it your own:


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