Hand-on activities for Touch to See Book Club
July 20, 2016

Touch to See book clubs

Many clubs take part in a variety of activities and last week the members of the Touch to See Book Club in Thatcham, Berkshire had great fun trying out flower arranging. Christina, one of the members, is a flower arranger and her expert advice, hints and tips meant that everyone went home with a lovely arrangement to put in their house. The flowers smelled lovely and the colours were so vibrant. So it meant that everyone, whatever their level of sight, was able to enjoy the activity in some way.

Touch to See book clubs

It’s all in the preparation

If you run a club you might want to plan ahead and incorporate additional activities into the session, inspired by the themes and topics in one of our book club titles. Here are a few suggestions to help you.


  • Set time aside for discussion, reminiscence and reflection.
  • Perhaps have some discussion ideas ready to start the ball rolling.
  • Invite and encourage personal responses from the group members to the themes and topics in the book club title.
  • For example, if your book is about museum objects, start a discussion about people’s favourite museums and exactly what it is they enjoyed about their visit.

Practical activity

  • Plan a practical activity related to the topics and themes in the book title, for example an art and craft activity, tactile object handling or a local visit.
  • For example, if your book has a theme of fashion or clothing, you could invite someone from a local fabric shop to come and give a talk on textiles, with examples of different fabrics for members to feel. Then perhaps go on to create a fabric collage picture.


  • Invite a local person to come and talk to the group on a theme or topic associated with the book club title.
  • Perhaps they could bring along, or you could organise, some associated tactile objects to share and talk about.
  • For example, if your book is about gardens or flowers, invite the Head Gardener from a local stately home to come and talk about their job and how they plan and maintain a garden that is open to the public. Perhaps they could bring some tactile objects from the garden such as dried seed heads, grasses, foliage and strongly scented flowers for you to touch and enjoy.

Music and Song

  • Bring to life some of the topics and themes using music and song.
  • Either plan to have 1 or 2 pieces of music ready to play, or task the group to raid their music collections and bring in their music to share.
  • As a group perhaps create a Playlist of music inspired by the topics and themes using everyone’s ideas and suggestions.
  • For example, many of our Book Club titles cover themes that have inspired the great composers, including the seasons, the countryside, famous people and places.  It could be fun to create ‘an album’ of music on a theme to suit your topic.

Literature and Poetry

  • Bring to life some of the themes and topics using literature and poetry.
  • Plan to have 1 or 2 pieces ready to recite. Or you could task the Club members to come up with their ideas.
  • Members will I am sure have some favourite poems or rhymes from when they grew up. Their grandchildren may also have introduced them to new poetry, perhaps even some rap songs!

Here is the first verse of my favourite poem by Jenny Joseph. “When I Am An Old Woman I Shall Wear Purple”

When I am an old woman I shall wear purple
With a red hat which doesn’t go, and doesn’t suit me.
And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves
And satin sandals, and say we’ve no money for butter.
I shall sit down on the pavement when I’m tired
And gobble up samples in shops and press alarm bells
And run my stick along the public railings
And make up for the sobriety of my youth.
I shall go out in my slippers in the rain
And pick flowers in other people’s gardens And learn to spit.

For the full poem visit the website

Always makes me giggle!

‘Til next time….. enjoy the fine weather.

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