Making books with children in my homeschool is one of the most enjoyable pastimes I know. It creates a language-rich environment, encourages better reading skills and fires the imagination. It also gives parents and children a shared time of special memories.
The most important part of making books with children is to keep it simple and use easy-to-find materials. Both save on frustration for parent and child. Here are instructions for my three favorite books. These generic books can be used in many different ways and for any subject or topic.
- Construction paper
- Ream of copy paper
- Card stock (contact a local print shop for great paper scraps)
- Index cards (small and medium size)
- Colored pencils (nice but not essential)
- Scissors (the kind for little hands)
- Glue sticks (this kind is better while glue for making books)
- Leftover wrapping paper
- Wallpaper sample book (they give away the outdated ones if you ask)
- Paper punch
- Cardboard (thin is better for books)
- Yarn, ribbon, string
Take a sheet of 8-1/2 x 11 copy paper. Fold in half and in half again, so there are four boxes when unfolded. Cut along the fold lines so there are four?small sheets and stack. Cut two pieces of construction paper slightly larger?than the sheets add to sheets and punch two holes on one edge. Thread with?ribbon, yarn or string.
This is just a variation on the small book. Take 8-1/2 x 11 sheets, as many as?needed, stack, create cover slightly larger than sheets, staple or punch and?thread with yarn, ribbon, etc. Add sheets as needed to make a longer book.
Cut two 8-1/2 x 11 sheets in half the long way. Glue strips end-for-end. Fold?the (now) one, long strip back and forth accordion-style to make the pages.??Cut two pieces of poster board slightly larger than the folded paper. Glue a?piece to each end of the paper strip so that by holding the two pieces of?poster board the book opens and closes like an accordion.??
Use wallpaper for the cover. Make a label for the title and glue onto?wallpaper cover.?A cardboard cover can have wrapping paper glued on inside back and?front. These are called endpapers. Look at picture books with?endpapers, discuss.?Vary the colors of paper for inside pages, use stickers, markers to?decorate.
Kinds of Books to Make
*Alphabet book? make 26-page book and put letter (upper and lower case) in the upper right corner. Collect pictures of things that start with?each letter.?
*All about me book?make a book that has your child?s picture, family?member?s names and pictures, his age, height (take time to show him?how to measure), weight (show him how scales work), favorite food?(help him make a list), favorite books, etc.?
*Other All about?. books?this is a way to supplement lessons. Pick a?topic you are studying. Farm animals can follow units on food, pets?could teach about caring for others, photos of your town can?underscore a lesson on community, and wild animals can illustrate?facts about different countries. Cut pictures out of magazines or?catalogs for illustrations.?
*Story book?when you have finished an Aesop?s fable, rhyme or short?story, have your child narrate the story. He can dictate the story and?draw pictures. The accordion book works quite well for this.?
*My sight word book?make a small book with ten or twelve pages. Each?day ask your child what special word they would like to put in this?book today. Print one word only on each page. Ask your child to point?to the word and say it. Then ask you child to say the letters of the?word (you might need to demonstrate) and then say the word. As the?book grows have the child read his book to another family member.
Publishing your child
Every author wants his or her work published. Your child is no exception. In this case, though, publishing means sharing his books with others and having a shelf where his books are stored, as in a library. Be sure to include this as part of the joy of making books with your child