Kayla Hicks - Author Kayla Hicks - Author

3 Things Authors Should Know About the Activities They Create for Their Children's Picture Books

4 min read
Created with Canva.com

As wonderful as it is to create activities based on your children's book, if they aren't useful, then it's a wasted effort

One of the best marketing ideas for a children's picture book is for the author to create activities based on the book.

If you create activities to go along with your book, you grab children's and teachers' attention.

Grabbing teachers' attention in childcare centers is placing your book directly in children's hands. Because these teachers can use these activities in their lesson plans and use your book as a teaching tool, this is one of the best ways to market your book to your target audience.

But, many authors don't know that to create valuable activities, you need to remember these three things.

  1. Is what you are teaching useful?

If you are unsure what concepts your book is going to teach children, it could be useful to research books similar to yours.

Knowing what children are going to learn from your book is the first step to forming useful activities. For instance, if your book talks about flowers or gardening, you may create activities that teach lifecycles or how plants grow. Or if your book talks about animals, your activities could teach about their habitat and what they eat.

Creating useful activities means more than just listing facts.

It means making activities that the children can engage with. Whether this is a teacher-led activity like piecing a plant together with cutouts, or if it is a self-led activity like painting their own garden, they envision the character of the book growing in.

2. Is it ready to go?

Teachers are busy people and often have to make resources and activities at home on their own time.

If you can cut out extra work for them, that will go a long way. For example, if you make learning kits that include a free copy of the book as a marketing technique, be sure they can open the kit and use it immediately.

  • Be sure the reusable items are laminated

  • Provide instructions on how to use the activities

  • Provide master copies of the activities, so they can make more if needed

  • Create a letter for parents that the teachers can pass out

  • Please make a list of other lesson plan ideas that they can implement in the classroom

Here is an example of lesson plan ideas I included in my kit

Ensuring all of these preparations are made beforehand does two things for you.

One, it helps the teacher use your book and the activities to the best of their ability. And two, it makes the teachers more inclined to leave a review for your book or tell others about it.

3. Don't overpromote yourself to teachers

Realistically, your goal is to reach young readers.

If your book resonates with these young readers, their love for it will work for you. These kids will ask for it at the library or tell their parents about it. And in the end, that is the true goal.

And not being pushy about asking teachers to promote your book or leave a review helps show them that you care about young readers. (Which can earn you some of this stuff anyway.)

As tough as marketing to young readers is, it's possible.

One of the best ways to do this is by creating valuable and teachable activities that align with the book.

If you can create a PDF of these activities, show it on your website where people can purchase and download them. In addition to this, be sure to have photo examples of the activities finished and laminated. Or better yet, if you can snag a photo of someone doing the activity with a young reader, that is a huge selling bonus.

Create activities that are useful to classrooms and parents, and your book will go far.