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Homemade Books


Children will put a lot of reading and writing skills to use when they make their own books. The difference between the bookmaking projects in this section and those included in other sections is that the children make these books to give as gifts rather
  • The RIF Guide to Encouraging Young Readers
  • Arts and Crafts, Celebrations and Holidays, Family Time, Writing
    • 6-8
    • 9-12
    • teen
  • Multiple
  • Indoor
  • Play

MATERIALS: Illustration Coloring Book.

Give the book artist sheets of white paper (not too opaque) to position over various picture-book illustrations. The child traces the outlines in the illustration (some books are more appropriate for this kind of activity than others), then removes the sheet and writes a caption: "Curious George does tricks on his bike." The book artists can choose one illustration to trace and color for a book cover. The tracings are stapled together along the top or the left side to make a book.

  • Family History Books. Children can approach the family's history in different ways. One child may want to write a short story based on a true anecdote: "The Little Heroine: How Great Grandma Ethel Saved Her Brother from a Fire." Another child might want to research a historical family figure. Or perhaps together the children can write a biography about Grandpa for his sixtieth birthday. For a finished look, the kids can assemble the pages of their books in a report binder, staple the pages together and tape over the stapled spine with cloth tape, or punch holes and tie through with ribbons or yarn.
  • Puzzle Books. Children can collaborate and produce puzzle books for each other and friends for holiday and birthday presents. Save samples of puzzles from store-bought books or the newspaper that the children can use as model for creating their own puzzles. Include word searches, crossword puzzles (based on themes or books), acrostics, scrambled words, word tricks (see "The Gang's All Here" section), and other favorites. Provide graph paper for crosswords, if possible; lined notebook paper will do for everything else. The children can assemble the puzzles pages in a narrow-leaf binder or insert binder rings. Remind them to include the answers at the back of the book.
  • Accordion Books. Children will need a sheet of paper at least 18 inches long to accordion-fold into panels 3" to 4" wide. An art-supply store will sell individual "parent sheets" that are at least that long. Another possibility is to tape individual sheets of paper together and accordion-fold along the taped sides. The children will also need two pieces of cardboard for front and back covers, and material to cover the cardboards, such as gift wrap or thin fabric. The poems are printed on all but the first and last panels of the paper. The end panels are glued to the insides of the covers. Explain to the children how to fold up the book accordion-style. They can keep the book from folding open by tying a ribbon around the construction.
Homemade Books