5 After School Programs That Are Perfect for Your Local Bookshop

Does your local book shop run classes and activities after school? Often, there are programs for holidays, but many book shops also have classes in the afternoon after school.

These are not just random classes; they are programs that are perfect for your local bookshop on a permanent basis. The only problem might be the permanent waiting list combined with a limit on spaces. 

Reading Circles

First on this list is the traditional reading circle. In this activity, usually for younger kids but possibly for older ones too, children gather in comfortable spots and listen to a story altogether. This oral storytelling can come with pictures if the reader holds the book up for the children to see. The focus here is on listening to a story and being part of a group while doing so. It shows that reading is not just a solitary hobby.

Children Reading
“Kids rule at Summer Reading Program” by USAG Yongsan is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0.

Over time, the reading circle can choose longer stories, have guest readers, and even authors can come to read their books in the circle.

Related: 7 Fun Family Activities You Can Do at Your Local Book Shop

There might be special holidays that the reading circles celebrate, and on each occasion, the group can enjoy hearing more about that special day. 

Book Clubs

If there isn’t an after-school book club at your local book shop, you could always suggest opening one or asking them to.

At a book club, your child will have regular reading practice but also participate in discussions of the book and its ideas. Book clubs don’t grade you as you might get at school, but they do foster the love of reading.

Book Club
Photo by Alexis Brown on Unsplash

The more often your child or teenager completes a book, the more confident they will get with their reading skills. Book clubs can also encourage writing and entries into writing competitions. There are more benefits to being in a book club than just reading new releases. The social aspect of a book club helps to encourage reading as a collective hobby in a similar way to the reading circle.

Craft Classes

Craft classes can be wonderful after-school activities. Check with your local book shop to see what activities they have and whether there is space for more or a waiting list. 

In craft classes, children may do activities that are book-related or not. It may be an activity, like pottery, where children get to learn a new artistic skill, or it could be painting, drawing, coloring, or even something book-related, like making a craft of a story.

Kids Crafts
Photo by Sigmund on Unsplash

Sometimes, these classes are free, but others might have to be paid for and even booked in advance due to limited spaces.

Though many of the materials needed can be left unopened and some reused, someone has to pay for the materials in the first place, and that cost might get transferred to the person who books the spot at the craft class. Expect to pay for your craft materials or even bring your own in.

Language Classes

Your local book shop might offer language classes in the afternoon after school. The languages depend on interest, demand, and, perhaps, your location and what other languages have been introduced to the area. It is always a good idea to check the book shop’s website to see if there are classes, and if not, why not ask?

Libraries often have language classes, and as book shops have developed over time to become spaces that only libraries once were—shared reading and socializing spaces—many of the activities at book shops now offer what libraries used to.

Puppet Shows

Many of us grew up with puppet shows at school and libraries, but they are often held at local book shops these days in brightly decorated children’s areas.

The puppet show is also traditionally for younger children, but older children can get involved by creating the puppets and telling the story.

A puppet show is an example listed here, as it is a well-known way of sharing stories with younger children.

That said, there could be any type of acting show at your local book shop, which may or may not be directly related to a book or a character in a book.

Puppet Show
“Puppet Show” by r.j.wagner is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

Storytelling in book form is a firm favorite for many, but so are theater, TV shows, and the cinema. They all start with the words and the question of how best to tell the story. Puppet shows or acting classes after school at your local book shop can foster the love of storytelling in all its forms.

If you are a frequent visitor of your local book shop, you’ll probably know what’s going on there from week to week. If you visit occasionally, remember to check their social media to see what new classes or clubs they have. Don’t be shy if you see none advertised. Ask about an after-school program that will encourage reading, crafting, and acting.