Creating books with your child is fun to do and can be as simple or complex as you wish. Some home-schoolers spend weeks creating professional looking bound books, but the process needn't be time consuming. If you like, you can simply staple sheets of paper inside a construction paper cover or use a small notebook, scrapbook, photo album, or three-ring binder with plastic sleeves. Print the story your child dictates (or let him print it himself) at the bottom of each page, then let your child illustrate the pages with his own artwork, photos, or pictures cut from magazines.
Making a bound book with your child takes a little more time, but the quality of the finished book makes it well worth the effort. The following instructions were adapted from the book Parents Are Teachers, Too by Claudia Jones.
- Cardboard or matte board
- 1 sheet construction paper
- Nonstretch fabric (at least 14 by 9 inches)
- Up to 8 sheets plain white paper (8 1/2 by 11 inches)
- Sewing machine or needle and thread
- White glue thinned with water
- Wax paper
- Utility knife
- Several heavy books
- Cut the construction paper to 8 1/2 by 11 inches. Stack up to 8 sheets of plain paper on top of the construction paper. Fold the whole stack in half, with the construction paper on the outside. Stitch along the fold with a sewing machine or needle and thread.
- Use a utility knife or scissors to cut 2 pieces of cardboard or matte board each measuring 5 1/2 by 6 3/4 inches. Lay the 2 pieces side by side about 1/4 inch apart on the wrong side of a piece of nonstretch fabric. Trim the fabric, leaving a 1-inch border on all sides of the cardboard or matte board.
- Paint a layer of watery white glue on 1 side of each piece of cardboard or matte board. Place the pieces of cardboard or matte board back in position (glue side down) on the fabric and press on them to glue them onto the fabric.
- Brush glue on the 1-inch fabric border, then fold the fabric over onto the cardboard. Smooth out the edges of the fabric as best you can, but don't worry about them too much, as they will be covered up in the next step.
- Open the paper booklet you made in step 1. Paint the entire outside surface of the construction paper cover with glue. Press the gluey construction paper onto the inside of the fabric covered cardboard cover.
- Place wax paper inside the front and back covers. Close the book and place more wax paper around the outside of the book. Then place it under a stack of heavy books so it will dry flat.