If you have kids, including them on your blog can be great fun for you and the child. Depending on the age of the kids it can also provide valuable feedback to authors and readers from the target audience. There are also some things to consider in order for it to be successful. Here are my ideas and tips for including kids on your blog.
Recommendations and other lists
Your children may be too young to write their own reviews, but there are plenty of posts they can do to contribute to your blog. Book hauls and reading lists can be fun ways for your kid to show off what they are reading. Do you go to the library weekly? Have your kids put together a list of the books they picked up and then when they are done reading them have them choose their favorite book or two from that week's library haul to feature in a new post.
Similarly, during holidays or other special occasions ask them to make a list of books they want to read or are favorites. Book recommendation lists are always popular on my blog. Also it can be difficult for parents to recommend new books to their kids because they haven't had a chance to check out the newest fair.
Do you read together? When you write your review of the book ask your child what they though of it and include it. It can be something as simple as a thumbs up or thumbs down to several sentences.
If your children are old enough to write their own reviews it can be great practice in forming an opinion and supporting it. It also helps with reading comprehension as they have to recall the story. I used a questionnaire to guide my niece and nephew.
Your kid doesn't want to write? Then perhaps record their review. Most computers come with some basic software to recording audio and/or video. The child can just talk about the book or if they require a bit of prompting then you can do it interview style. If both of you read the book it might be fun to record you just chatting together about the book.
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There are several memes that your kids can participate in that will make reading and blogging fun. Most of them are for general bloggers, meaning both adult and kid books are featured. But you could always make a kid friendly version of the memes. I know that there is a YA edition of It's Monday, What are you reading? Contact the blogger who hosts the meme and see if they would be interested in either making a linky for kid friendly book bloggers or if it would be okay for you to host it yourself. If they let you host it yourself they may be willing to mention it when they post the general linky for the meme.
This may have the extra benefit of your kids finding other kid bloggers to befriend. This can be good if they don't have a lot of reading friends in real life.
I'm sure you are careful with your kid on the internet and your blog is no place to be slacking on those precautions. I never used my niece's and nephew's names. One was referred to kid who reads and the other boy who reads.
You will also need to decide how much interaction your kids will have with authors and other bloggers. My niece and nephew didn't care too much about the interaction, though my niece did like when she did an email interview with her favorite author. Even in that instance I was the go between for emailing the interview.
The most important thing to keep in mind when blogging with kids is to have fun. If it seems like work or there's not much reward, your kids may grow tired of it and it may even make them want to stop reading all together. My niece and nephew thought it was cool when they received an ARC or was asked in particular for a review.
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