Bookmaking for Little Hands
Whether you're new to lapbooking and are trying to get an idea of what minibooks are or whether you're an old hand at lapbooking and want some fresh ideas, welcome to the minibook gallery!
Browse the images for some creative inspiration. Follow the links for directions and templates.
Each photo featured on this page comes from a minibook that my daughter made as part of her homeschool experience over the past seven years.
If you're looking for printable templates for these minibooks, keep scrolling down. There's a link lower on the page for Homeschool Share, your best site for templates and printables.
1. Layered Book - Minibook SamplesClick thumbnail to view full-size
Notes: A layered book is an easy but impressive minibook made with paper of various lengths, stacked and stapled together. Try different colors of paper to make a rainbow book! And remember that the layers can go up and down or side to side. A layered book is good for a list of related things.
2. Tabbed Book - Minibook SamplesClick thumbnail to view full-size
Click for Tabbed Book Directions
Notes: A tabbed book is good for a list of similar things or a progression from small to large. It can have as few as three tabs or can have many more. The tabs can go across the top, sides, or bottom for even more versatility.
3. One Page Book - Minibook SamplesClick thumbnail to view full-size
One Page Book
One Page Book Directions
Notes: With just one sheet of paper of most any size and a pair of scissors, you can make this one page book, the easiest and most versatile book there is! The larger your paper, the larger your finished book will be. Experiment with rectangles and squares of various sizes for unique books. Besides a cover and a back, this book has 6 interior pages. So it's good for three to six bits of information.
4. Accordion Book - Minibook SamplesClick thumbnail to view full-size
Click for Accordion Book Directions.
Notes: This book can be as short or as long as you'd like. It is especially good for timelines, steps in a process, a series of events, or any sequence at all. The accordion book can unfold up, down, to the left or to the right. You can decide! Index cards, taped together, make good accordion books.
5. Flip Flap Book - Minibook SamplesClick thumbnail to view full-size
Flip Flap Book
Click for Flip Flap Book Directions
Notes: The flip flap book (also called a shutterfold depending on the flaps) is a mini-book standby. We use it constantly! Vary your paper size and number of "doors" to fit your topic. Flaps can open on one side or both, on top or bottom or even in all four directions! These kinds of minibooks are great for vocabulary or most any topic at all.
6. Matchbooks - Minibook SampleClick thumbnail to view full-size
Click for Matchbook Directions.
Notes: Matchbooks are generally small minibooks, but experiment with larger ones for some variety! Try a column or row of minibooks for vocabulary or for related concepts.
7. Four Corner Book - Minibook SampleClick thumbnail to view full-size
Four Corner Book
Click for Four Corner Book Directions.
Notes: Another impressive but easy book. All it takes is a square piece of paper with corners folded into the center. Voila! You naturally get four sections, so material with four parts is best suited for this minibook.
Uses of Minibooks
Minibooks are used to record small bits of information in an attractive and creative format. Usually people associate them with lapbooks, but they can also stand alone for
-creative writing assignments
-a summary of a lesson (narration)
8. Pop Up Book - Minibook SamplesClick thumbnail to view full-size
Pop Up Book
Click here for Pop-up Book Directions. (Be sure to go click NEXT to go through these four pages of directions for this fabulously simple but impressive mini-book.)
Notes: You can cut out paper shapes of whatever you're studying and attach them inside the pop-up. Add a cover made of another sheet of paper to the outside to finish it off.
9. Flag Book - Minibook SamplesClick thumbnail to view full-size
Click for Flag Book Directions.
Notes: This mini-book is a bit tricky, but the "WOW!" effect of the finished product is worth the trouble. For best effect, you want at least six flags -- three on top and four on bottom. It would also work for eight flags, but more than that may get unwieldy. You'll want an even number of concepts for this type of book -- six or eight.
10. Fan Book - Minibook SamplesClick thumbnail to view full-size
Click here for Fanbook Directions. (PDF)
Notes: For a fan book, make as many pages as you need and use a paper fastener to connect them at the bottom. This book then opens like a fan. Your pages can be most any shape at all as long as they can be connected at one corner or end. Store it in a pocket in your lapbook or affix the back page to the lapbook base.
11. Circle Book - Minibook SamplesClick thumbnail to view full-size
Click for Circle Book Directions.(PDF)
Notes: Easy, easy! A circle book gives you six divisions once you take away the back and cover pages. If you've got six or fewer bits of information, this book will work for you.
12. Three Square Unfolding Book - Minibook SamplesClick thumbnail to view full-size
There Square Unfolding Book
Click for Three Square Mini-book Directions.
Notes: It starts really small and opens really big. It uses an origami fold called the square base -- a bit tricky, but worth the effort.
13. Three Quarters Book - Minibook SamplesClick thumbnail to view full-size
Three Quarters Minibook
Click for Three Quarter Minibook Directions,
Notes: Variations of this include cutting away one sixth or one eighth of a piece of paper. Experiment with different combinations to find a book size and shape that suits you!
14. Wheel Book - Minibook Samples
Click for Wheel Book Directions.
Notes: Wheel books are great for short lists or for a short process. The little ones especially love the action of turning the wheel. You'll need a paper fastener for this one.
15. Trifold Book - Minibook SamplesClick thumbnail to view full-size
Click for Trifold Directions.
Notes: The trifold is one of my favorite minibooks because it is so very versatile! It can be short, tall, fat or skinny. You can even cut shapes into the trifold for a shaped trifold!
Book Making Reference
This is a neat book! It has lots of great ideas with clear directions for making minibooks. It's more on the crafty side than the educational side in its presentation. But that's okay! It's got classic standby minibooks as well as some more adventurous and complicated ones.
Keep it Fresh!
There are an abundance of minibook styles. But there are other ways you can multiply your options!
use colored papers -- even various colors within one book
use different sizes -- think of tiny ones or large ones; or make it really skinny or really wide; round the edges.
rotate the book -- the book can open on the top, side, or bottom.
Lots of clever bookmaking ideas here, especially for the lower elementary grades. If you prefer an instant download, this book is also available at CurrClick in eBook format.
Evan Moor & Donald Silver
Two great resources for reproducible minibooks are the Pockets series published by EvanMoor and most of Donald Silver's books. They are a great value for the money! Copy the pages you want to use, and you've got instant minibooks.
More by this Author
A mini office is a particular application of lapbooks. Each child can make his own mini-office -- a lapbook filled with reference pages for his own learning. The sky is the limit on what you can include. Fill the mini...
Every story has the elements of fiction whether it is a short story, a novel, a play, a movie, or even a television sit-com. The story you told your husband at dinner last night probably had these elements as well. ...
Whether it's a school assignment or a project for fun, there are many ways to create a shoebox diorama. Here are tips, ideas, books, and printables to help you make a very cool miniature model.