As is probably evident from my last blog post featuring JBrary, not to mention the way I go on and on about early literacy, I love a good book! And so do most kids I know… Kids also love to create things and feel important. Mix all of that up and you’ve got a simple activity for home or school–book making!

All you need for this simple project is paper, a stapler or sewing machine, and something to write/color/draw with.

1. Stack a few sheets of paper together and fold them in half to form a “book”. Open it back up and staple or sew along that crease.
2. Read the kids a good book, and point out that it has an author to write the words, and an illustrator to create the pictures. And for some books one person does both those jobs! (Some books also have a picture of both people inside–that’s great to share with the kids, too!)
3. Tell them that THEY can be author’s and illustrators, too! Pass out the blank books, and encourage them to fill the pages with whatever marks they are capable of. Depending on the age of the children, those marks might be scribbles, lines, dots, etc. Or they might be recognizable images, letters, or even words.
4. Encourage them to dictate their work to you, and offer to write any words they’d like.
5. Make a big deal out of filling in the title page! “Written and illustrated by…Wow! You wrote your very own book!”

After doing this type of project with a little help from you, your kids might want to do it again and again, with less and less assistance from you! Make several blank “books” for the kids, and leave them out in an obvious place alongside a can of crayons, pencils and markers. Soon your bookshelf will be full of new stories to read (and if the kids are reading them to you, this makes this project even more fantastic!)