Monday, June 4, 2012

Creativity Corner: Make Mini Books!

Last week my daughter was playing with a craft book.  She discovered a wonderful cut-out page that created small books using only a few simple pages that we cut and stapled together. We loved them so much that I thought we should create our own from scratch! 
The idea behind this is so simple, but sometimes kids enjoy making something that is entirely their own.  There are many levels of learning and many directions you could go with this basic concept--the sky's the limit!  To begin, I took one piece of cardstock and cut it into 3 equal rectangular pieces.  If you want to let your child practice cutting, let her do this part; it doesn't have to be perfect!
Next, I folded each rectangle in half and asked Maddy to tell me a story.  I thought she might need time to brainstorm but she had her basic story down and was drawing within a minute.  For some reason my daughter was obsessed with "diamonds" on this particular day, so her story was all about diamonds.  She drew a picture on her cover, then began a story on the inside.  I was nearby to help, but for the most part she came up with each drawing (illustration :) and sentence on her own.
Once she had finished her drawings, I helped connect the book by stapling the center pages together.  If you wanted to create a more attractive work of art or a gift, you could easily use a hole punch and ribbon or something more refined than metal staples.  You could also create a thicker cover using cardboard (cereal box) and glue, etc.  We will continue experimenting with this!
When we had the book in one piece I helped her fill in the words.  To do this I wrote out the sentences, then she copied them onto her book pages.  An older child should be encouraged to write entirely on his/her own.  This simple project turned into a great learning activity as we wrote colors and words and learned about the basic layout of books, as well as reading from left to right.  I think the fact that the pages are small kept her attention and helped keep her from feeling overwhelmed by a huge blank page!
For some reason my kids love tiny things, and I'm sure I will find this treasure buried away in a pink purse for many months to come.  Maddy was very proud of the story and book she created almost entirely by herself and we will definitely be making many more of these in the future, most likely using different themes and more pages.  What story will your child tell?