Purpose of this Blog...

You may have noticed that not all books are equal in capturing children's imaginations and in cultivating those innocent, tender souls. My goal is to help you find the ones that do!
(Painting by Mary Cassatt: "Mrs Cassatt Reading to her Grandchildren" -1888)

Tuesday, August 2, 2011


I was always looking for fun projects that would keep my kids' creative imaginations active during their carefree summer days...
 image by Alta.C from Fotolia.com
JOURNALING: One activity they really enjoyed was making their own books.  Sometimes we'd come home from a memorable outing, such as the circus, or a day trip to a local aquarium, and they'd be inspired to put together a little book about the experience.  Depending on the age and interest of my child, the book would be their dictated or hand-written account of the activity (when they were very young, it was often only one sentence per page with an illustration or photo).  We laminated the pages, and they've lasted for years.  I still treasure them and am sure their own children will enjoy seeing them someday!

Here are some more ideas for homemade books that kids can make...

1. MAKE A POP-UP BOOK:  Visit ROBERT SABUDA'S website for ideas and free downloadable print-outs (projects from simple to advanced). Also - Chinaberry (one of my favorite online sources) has a cute kit you can purchase for creating pop-up books.

2. Write a book of "MY FAVORITE THINGS": Staple together ten blank pages and ask your child to think of that many favorite things. Help with ideas. (i.e. What's your favorite food? Who's your best friend? What's your favorite book? Write one thing on each page and have your child draw a picture or glue a photo cut out from a magazine to go with it.) Do you own a child-friendly camera?  You might find out you have a budding photo-journalist!

3.  Make an ALPHABET BOOK:  On each page, help your child write a letter of the alphabet. For a kinesthetic learner, it works great to cut the letter out of sandpaper, so they can trace it with their finger as they say the letter or sound. You can also glue different materials onto the outline of the letter, such as dried peas, yarn, glitter, etc., to create interesting textures. Then go through and draw or glue pictures of objects that begin with that letter sound on each page.

photo by miscellaneaarts
4. Going on a summer vacation or road trip?  Kids love making TRAVEL JOURNALS.  Start it at home - with a map of where you're going and maybe some fun stickers glued onto the cover of a spiral notebook or sketchpad - then add to it during the trip as you buy postcards and they dictate or write about what they see each day. Leave empty spaces for photos so the kids can finish it when you're back home and have your pictures developed. (Kids grades 3-6 will find inspiration from the book LINNEA IN MONET'S GARDEN, which is like a travel scrapbook).

5. Visit Susan Kapuscinski Gaylord's MAKING BOOKS WITH CHILDREN website, for more creative ideas, including a POEM BOOK, LEAF BOOK and ACCORDION BOOKS.

Not crazy about crafts?  You can always buy this Dr. Seuss book and let your child fill in the blanks...


  1. Your never too young to make your own book, or too old for that matter.

  2. So true, Valerie - and you would know! Love your Etsy page and miniature handmade books. (Look here, friends: http://www.etsy.com/shop/acornmoon?ref=seller_info)