Today, we created homemade books.
Lots
and LOTS

of homemade BOOKS.

Some are BIG and tall and rather plain (for now!).
Others are teeny tiny

Some are quite fancy.

With embellishments or pockets to make them
more interesting to potential readers.
Some have flowers and buttons, and pretty scalloped pages.
And nifty inside covers, perfect for tables of contents!

Quite a few have fun, seasonal, kid-friendly covers.

 But ALL of them
are filled with pages. 
Clean, blank pages, all ready to go. 

They’re ready and waiting to be filled by
my little writers.

Actually, one book has already been filled!

Meet the (very talented) author / illustrator:

(Mama’s SPECIAL scrapbooking supplies may or may not have been raided and used in the making of this book…)
Oh! Check out this 
cute little”M” book we made-
Of course, it’s ONLY allowed to be filled with Mm pictures and Mm words.
Once we made “M,” we just couldn’t resist making a “J” book, a“B” book, and an “S” book too!

{These letter books are exclusively for my big 3 year old boy, who is working on these very alphabet sounds right now}

Speaking of letters
Guess how many pages we put into our ABC book?  (HINT: 1 page for every. . .)

We really only intended to make 5 or 6 little books.

You know… for when your 5 year old feels like “writing a story”
and keeps coming back to steal page after page of your printer paper!

Anyway, when it was all said and done, I think we ended up making 24 little books today!

We had so.much.fun. making them,
and talking about what we could put inside of them.

Book Making How-To’s:
This idea is pretty self-explanatory, right? 
In fact, I bet you’ve probably made your kids “books” before.
But in case you are just dying for the specifics, here they are:

By the way~
If you are a scrapbooker (or used to be, as is my case),
this will be an easy and inexpensive totally free project.

1.  Round up all the card stock in the house. 
All those scrap pieces and half-sheets are perfect for this.

2.  Dig out your paper cutter, start folding and cutting. 
Very sorry if you do not have one, as your lines will not be as clean with scissors-
but! if that’s all you’ve got, it’s OKAY, you can make it work.
3. Use those fancy shmancy scissors to create special edges for your book covers,
or to jazz up the filler pages.

If you have no scrap card stock, just buy or use a few sheets of full sized (12×12″) scrapbook paper, or any thick paper, really. 
I must say I LOVE the scrapbook card stock because most of them are printed on both sides,
creating a special look for both the outside and inside cover of your homemade books.

However, when I taught public school kids, we often made book covers from construction paper, and it worked just fine.

Anywho, what’s cool is that with the 12x12s, you can easily make 2 books from the same sheet,
as shown here:

(For this paper, I had to cut apart the book on the right to feature the butterflies on the front cover instead of the back).
4. Add embellishments to the front cover, if you so desire.
Here’s my girl adding a sweet little envelope to her book.
5. Cut lined and/or plain white paper to fit, and staple books together!
We tried to make MOSTLY blank front covers for our books, so that when the kids want to write (or tell a story by pictures), they don’t have a super busy front cover to get in the way of their imagination.
Larger books and fininished spines:
To make larger books, instead of folding your paper in half, you will want to
staple two full-sized pieces of paper together
(after filling with pages), like so:
If you don’t like the unfinished look on the spine (I didn’t), do this:
And adhere with glue (hot glue works best)

Looks much better

Creating a Special Place for Titles
Frames or hidden envelopes can be used to insert photos or book titles onto the front cover. 
Leave them blank for now, and let your child fill them in after their story is finished.
Here, the sides and bottom of the lighter colored frame were glued down,
while the top was left open, leaving room for the title of the book to be inserted into the window.
The neat, finished (removable) title plate:
Alternatively, you can cut a window out of your front cover, and hide an envelope behind it (on the inside of the cover) to fit a photo or a title plate.
Here is one we did–can you guess what this book will be all about?
Tips for Moms and Dads:

If you can cut, fold, and staple, you can do this project with your kids.
Your books do not need to be fancy (though fancy is fun!).
For very young ones (preK-Kindergarten),
they can typically tell a whole story with one picture and few (or no) words.
But as they develop, encourage your children to connect scenes together to form a more complete storyline.
Even still, young writers usually don’t need more than 8-10 pages in their book.
And….
Go ahead a fill a book yourself! 
They will be absolutely delighted with your stories, and it will model the process for them.
This entire book-making adventure started when my daughter found a homemade 
“I’m thankful for..” book that I made when I was her exact same age!
(thanks for saving it, Mom!)
I am currently writing out and illustrating
a favorite bedtime story
that is often told to my children by their daddy.
I am certain it will be an instant family classic when it’s done.
Happy writing!

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