I love books, and as children’s books are a particular weakness of mine, my daughter has several bookshelves stacked full. But the most well-read, lovingly tattered books on any of our bookshelves are the very simple, inexpensive little ones that I have made myself. Homemade books are so easy to make that anyone can do it. And the possibilities of what you can create are endless.
To make your own book, simply purchase a small dollar store photo album. Most dollar stores carry a variety of styles and colours, and they usually do not cost more than a dollar (you can occasionally find them for two or three for a dollar). Fill the album with family photos, clippings from magazines and flyers, drawings, or even real objects such as dried flowers, souvenir items, etc. Have fun, and let your creative juices flow! Here are a few ideas to get you started…
· Learning new words (babies and toddlers) – Books are a wonderful way to promote language skills and to build your little one’s vocabulary. Fill an album with pictures of things that are familiar to your child, such as pictures of clothing, toys, household items, familiar foods, family members, animals and pets. Magazines and flyers are great sources for pictures of household items. Your child will love listening to you as you tell them the names of the pictures, and will eventually join in by pointing to pictures that you name, or naming pictures that you point to.
· Preparing for new adventures – Create a picture story book about an upcoming adventure or change in routine to help prepare your child for the transition. You could create a book about your child beginning preschool or kindergarten; or your family moving to a new home, welcoming a new sibling, or going on a trip.
· Telling your story – My daughter’s favourite book of all is a little photo album given to her by her birth mom (we were blessed to adopt our little girl at birth). The album contains pictures of the day our daughter was born, and we use it to teach her about her adoption story. You can use homemade books to tell your child any story that is important to you – perhaps the story of a loved one who lives far away, or the country in which you were born, or an important event in the life of your family.
Reading with your child is one of the most powerful tools you can use to help ensure your child’s success in school. And nothing could be better for instilling a love of reading than reading books your child loves. With just a little time and a little imagination, you can create books that will quickly become your child’s favourites. Happy bookmaking!