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Volunteering at Scouts is changing to help us reach more young people

Volunteering is changing to help us reach more young people

Volunteering is changing at Scouts. Read more

Discover what this means

Got it covered

Give your favourite book a new lease of life by creating a cover. How will you showcase the best bits?

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You’ll need

  • A4 paper
  • Coloured pens or pencils
  • Paint
  • Paint brushes
  • Craft materials (for example, tissue paper, pipe cleaners, stickers)
  • Books

Before you begin

  • Ask everyone to bring in a favourite book to show the group. It’s a good idea for everyone to put their name inside their book first.
  • People could bring library books – they could clip a bit of paper with their name on inside the cover (instead of writing on the book).
  • People could also bring a book they’d like to read.
  • People can choose fiction or non-fiction books.
  • Gather a few spare books in case anyone forgets or isn’t able to get a book. Try to choose stories that everyone knows, or non-fiction books about fun topics such as space or animals.

Share books

  1. Everyone should form two lines that face each other.
  2. Everyone should show the person opposite them their book. They could tell them a bit about it. Both people should share their books – it doesn’t matter who goes first.
  3. Everyone in one of the lines should take a step to their right, so they’re facing a new person. The person at the end should walk up the line to stand in the space that’s opened up.
  4. Everyone should repeat step two.

Everyone can keep stepping to the right and meeting new people for as long as you like. Remember that everyone will share their new covers at the end, so don’t let people get bored.

  1. Everyone should sit in a circle, holding their book.
  2. Everyone should think quietly about their book cover. How big is the title? Is there a picture on the front, and what does it tell people about the book? What other things are written on the cover?
  3. The person leading the activity should ask one or two people who were thinking hard to share their ideas with everyone else.

Create a cover

  1. The person leading the activity should give everyone a piece of paper.
  2. Everyone should fold their paper in half so it looks like a card (or a book cover!).
  3. Everyone should use all of the craft materials to design a new cover for their book. They should make sure to add the title and the author’s name. They should try and make it bright and bold so it’s eye-catching – book covers should make people want to choose the book in a bookshop or library.
  4. People should add detail to the back of their book – how about a short blurb (a description of the story), their opinion about the book, or a picture of the author?
  5. Everyone could add in some extra fancy elements such as a lift-up flap, a border of ribbon, or pom-poms and buttons.

Share the new covers

  1. Everyone should get back into two lines that face each other.
  2. Everyone should show the person opposite them their new book cover. They should explain what their book is about, why they chose it, and what their cover tells people at the book. Why did they choose the colours and pictures they used? Why should the other person read their book?
  3. Everyone should gather back together. The person leading the activity should remind everyone that to earn their Beaver Book Reader Activity Badge, people need to read six books. Maybe they could read some of the books other people shared today!


This activity gave everyone a chance to show how they love and care for books. It also let people share their favourite book. Did this help people understand their friends a bit better? In the past, books often had plain leather covers, so they all looked similar. Why don’t books just have plain covers? It would be trickier for people to know what the book was about and if they wanted to read it. Does anyone have a favourite character in their book? Next time people go to a bookshop or library, they should look around at all of the covers. Can they guess what each book is about?


All activities must be safely managed. You must complete a thorough risk assessment and take appropriate steps to reduce risk. Use the safety checklist to help you plan and risk assess your activity. Always get approval for the activity, and have suitable supervision and an InTouch process.

Glue and solvents

Always supervise young people appropriately when they’re using glue and solvent products. Make sure there’s plenty of ventilation. Be aware of any medical conditions that could be affected by glue or solvent use and make adjustments as needed.

  • You could fold the paper in half before you begin if people are likely to struggle with folding.
  • Add in more detail to the blurb. How about an author profile or a short review?
  • If you carefully match the paper size and book size, people’s book covers could be used as dust jackets. Wrap the paper around the cover and fold over the edges and corners.

Covers can be as simple or as complex as people want – and they can be all drawing instead of writing.

All Scout activities should be inclusive and accessible.