Young children love to imitate and create.  Writing or illustrating a book is something that can help them acquire many skills.  Language arts skills are acquired.  Vocabulary is enhanced when a child dictates or writes words.  Spelling is learned as they practice sounds and sequences.  Math skills are developed as they number pages in the book.  And artistic competence and motor skills are fostered as children cut, paste, color, print, and draw.  An entire unit study can be fabricated from an activity as simple as writing and illustrating a book!

When a young age, our children enjoyed books making books.  Here are ideas for several that we made:

1) Use a large scrapbook filled with blank pages to make an alphabet book. Have the child write the first letter of the alphabet on the back flanking sheet on the left-hand side. On the right-hand side of the open page, have the child select a picture from a magazine or catalog showing objects that start with that letter sound.  Glue pictures that start with that letter sound on the right-hand page.  Continue through the alphabet (one letter a day) until each letter of the alphabet has been illustrated.

2) Use a magnetic photo album (sticky pages with clear plastic overlay) to make a book of verses. Place a picture from a magazine or that the child draws to illustrate a verse on one page. Write the verse on lined paper and attach on the opposite page.  This is a great way to help children memorize Scripture verses.

3) Use a notebook to create a nature notebook. Fill it with dividers, one for each month. Use 12 gallon-sized zip-lock bags that have been punched so they can be fit into the notebook as pages. Place one after each divider. Place clear paper and lined paper in each section. Have the child ‘write’ the book by collecting things from nature and placing them in the zip-lock bags (flowers can be pressed, leaves dried, bugs dried, etc.). Give child opportunity to write poems about what they can see in nature; write stories; find vocabulary words; draw a sketch; paint a picture; etc. Find nature magazine photos that illustrate the seasons or take photos.

Something as simple as a making a book can provide a plethora of learning experiences for the young child!  Take time to enjoy the process and savor learning with the child!

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