Getting children to love books and enjoy reading can be a big challenge for some parents. Most of the time, toddlers will enjoy books and read-a-loud sessions, however, if you are having difficulty with your toddlers during the reading session or he shows no interests in books, then you have to try alternative ways to cultivate an interest of reading in him. One of the many ways to teach your preschool child the alphabet and reading is perhaps to make books with him. Making books may not be a difficult task, but it does require your effort and some materials. A simple book can be made in minutes by stapling a few pieces of paper together and you can start writing on it. But remember that books are meant for your kids’ enjoyment and it is the process of making a book that captures the hearts of the kids. There are many books that you can make for your toddler. The following are some interesting examples for you.
1. Make personalized books. There are companies providing this service of making personalized books for you. Depending on the story, they require your personal information such as names, ages, heights, likes and dislikes. It usually takes one to two weeks to complete the book and ship it to your doorstep. All books are often bright, colorful and fun with many titles to choose from. You can select books that impart good values and character. Allowing your kids to become the main character or a hero in the book will definitely keep them hooked to it. They will be keen to follow the adventure to the end.
2. Make books that record daily events. You can follow your kids’ footsteps and make a book about their daily events such as brushing teeth, combing hair, and bathing. Toddlers need a routine. Use these books wisely to teach them the routine and the importance of keeping themselves clean.
3. Make books on objects. This little book aims to introduce to toddlers the things around them; for instance, things in the bathroom, living room, bedrooms and kitchen. With real pictures taken at home, kids will be able to identify them more readily. You can also include a simple activity by getting your toddlers to sort out the pictures according to their locations.
4. Make books on shapes. Shapes are always fun for kids. Get your toddlers to walk around the house and identify objects of different shapes. They can then draw the objects into the book or simply take pictures and paste them according. Again, teach your toddlers to sort the pictures according to their locations. This activity helps them to sharpen their observation skills.
5. Make books on letters of the alphabet. Make books for each letter in the alphabet. For instance, “My A Book” will contain all the words that begin with ‘a’. Besides teaching them new words, you can also teach phonics and word recognition. You can either draw the pictures or search for them from the magazines, newspapers or websites that provide clipart.
6. Make books on numbers. If you are teaching your kids about numbers, you need to teach the numeric, as well as, the number words. An interesting activity is to provide your kids with a few magazines and have them to find pictures with depicting different count; for instance pictures that shows two cars, five cats, six trees or ten tables. Alternatively, they can look for number words. Your toddlers will enjoy this meaningful cut and paste activity.
7. Make books on fruits and vegetables. Plan trip to the market and take pictures of different fruits and vegetables. Instead of getting pictures from the magazines or the websites, a visit to the market allows your kids to touch, feel and smell the different fruits and vegetables. They can also compare the size and weight as well. Back home, they can sort the fruits and vegetables accordingly and paste them in the book.
8. Make books on action. Kids love actions. Take pictures of them doing different actions such as skipping, drawing, painting, reading, running. Make a book on “My Useful Hands” or “My Little Legs”. You can use these books to inculcate the right values. Teach your children to use their hands to share and give instead of snatch, beat or slap.
9. Make books on nursery rhymes. Kids adore nursery rhymes as they are mostly simple, easy to remember and catchy to recite; some even come with a tune to sing along. You can easily print the nursery rhymes from the children’s website and add a picture as a coloring activity.
10. Make a wordless book. A wordless book is simply a book without words. It is a book of pictures. A wordless book is ideal for developing creativity. To make this book, provide your kids with a page full of different clipart. Have your kids to select their desired clipart and cut them out. Paste one or two pictures onto each page. You can know use this book to make up different stories each day. For instance, a girl in page one can Lucy your neighbor today and Aunt Maggie’s daughter the next day; while a cat in page two can be Alex’s pet or Cathy cat looking for Daniel Dog. You can make stories for the even pages while your toddlers contribute to the odd pages. A wordless book helps to build your toddlers imagination and narrative skills. Instead of reading to your kids, you can finally get your kids to narrate a story to you. Why not give it a try?
11. Make books about people. Finally, kids love reading about themselves. Make interesting books about “My Sweetest Sister”, “My Caring Dad”, “My Fantastic Grandma”, “My Loving Mother” and “About Me”. These little books record personal information such as age, physical appearance, likes, and dislikes. It is definitely a good way for your kids to know more about their family members.
Tips on Making Books
Making books for children is always fun especially if you are doing it with them. Here are some tips for you.
a. Use simple vocabulary. Toddlers have limited amount of vocabulary. Hence, do not use long sentences; limit sentences to 5 words.
b. Use repetitive words. Repetition enables kids to learn new words at ease; for instance, my dad likes pizza, my dad likes bananas, my dad like sausages, and my dad likes bread.
c. Use big fonts. Words should have big fonts that do not stress the eyes. Highlight words in bold.
d. Form dialogues. Use conversation in the book to make it interesting.
e. Use pop-ups or flip-ups. Learn how to make flip-ups or pop-ups to make your book interactive.
f. Limit pages. Books for toddlers need not have a hundred pages. Keep the number of pages to less than ten so as to keep their interest high.
g. Add color. Instead of using white, use different color papers for different books or pages. Get your kids to color the pictures, where possible.
h. Display the books. Kids love to see their books displayed for others to see. Make their books easily accessible so that they can reach them or show them to visitors at home.
Making books is a fun activity. More importantly, it provides your toddlers with an abundance of hands-on opportunities and meaningful lessons throughout the process. To have the job well done, a little preparation such as getting the stationary, magazines, and pictures ready, and some cooperation from your toddlers should enable you to accomplish the job with ease. Making books on your own is also a frugal way of living. Upon completion of a book, read it with them and read it frequently. May you have fun discovering more books that you can make with your toddlers.