Saturday, 10 April 2010

Making Books With Children

I first realised the power of making books with children when I made some laminated pages with photographs of the farm visit we had made and the words of 'Old Macdonald' linked to them, with the children's writing and marks and pictures alongside.  Bound with wool this book is now dog-eared and well-loved, having been looked at every day since we made it!  I used to think it was difficult but it isn't - you can make a book about anything, or just notebooks to write in.  I have gathered together lots of inspiration and ideas here, as well as step-by step instructions for you to jump in and have a go!

So why make books with children? Well...... you can:
  • capture and record meaningful experiences
  • demonstrate that you value their thoughts, ideas and abilities
  • provide opportunities for children to express themselves
  • provide a way for the child to use many fine motor skills
  • provide thechild with many opportunities for problem solving
  • all contribute to a shared effort 
What can we write books about? Well....... you could write about:
  • A trip to the shops and what happens there.
  • What the children do at the park.
  • A special trip out to the zoo or farm.
  • A favourite recipe.
  • What we do during the day as a welcome book for new children.
And now we've decided what to write about, how do we set it out? Here are some ideas
  • Once upon a time… stories
  • Repetitive stories (I was walking down the road. Then I saw a….)
  • Cumulative stories (On Monday I…On Tuesday I)
  • Rhyme/Rhythm (change the words of songs and nursery rhymes )
  • Opposites (In and Out; Up and Down)
  • Counting Books
  • Alphabet Books (My Food Alphabet, An Alphabet of Pets)
  • Time Sequence (time of day, days of the week, months of the year)
Information taken from this Canadian resource.

I have so far bound my books very simply with ribbon or wool, but you don't have to make books that open in the traditional way; try this fold out version for an 'all about me' book.

This tactile book from is absolutely stunning and would be such fun to make!

Another of Bea's creations "We Went for a Walk" is a golden idea too!

How about making a fabric book that represents you setting? This resource talks you through the process; a big time investment to be sure but worth the effort!

On a simpler note, I have found downloadable books to complete with the children that have worked very successfully as a collaborative effort that is well-used afterwards, a couple of examples are this 'sing a rainbow' colours book and a version of 'The Mitten'.

'Lapbooks' are popular with some home educating families; the idea is that a simple cardboard folder is adorned with many little 'books' containing information about a topic or theme that the children are learning about.  This idea lends itself to a childminding setting beautifully as each child can make a little book at her/his level and add them together to make a collection. Find a big collection of 'folds' for lapbooks here and try some yourself!

I hope that you have found this inspiring and make some books yourself, please let me know how you get on!!



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