Simple Home-Made Books for Infants and Toddlers
In the past it was difficult to find durable infant and toddler books that were simple to read and attractive to young children. By this I mean books with colorful pages containing interesting life-like pictures and basic words. Today you can purchase books in a variety of styles and textures with interactive pages that will stimulate your child's interest in looking at books. However, if you have a minimal budget or just enjoy using your creative talent I have posted an idea you may find helpful in making simple books for your child.
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A Sample Reading Experience for Parents
Here is what you will need to make a book.
- Construction Paper
- White copy paper
- Rubber Cement Glue
- Clasp-style book rings
- Hole puncher
- Sharpie or Marker
- Laminate Sheets (can be bought at craft stores and places such as Wal-mart or Target)
The photo adjacent to this content displays a book of shapes. The purpose of the book is to introduce infants (six months and older) or toddlers to matching through the use of shape and color. If this is your first attempt I suggest you begin with this because shapes are simple to make and easy for an infant to handle. Once you have mastered this technique you can create matching books on numbers, letters, colors, animals and other interesting objects. Keep the pictures simple, large and colorful.
- First, cut out the desired shape using a ruler as a guide. You will need two of each shape of the same size. I used the basic shapes such as triangle, square and circle. I also added oval and cross for added interest. Additionally, I created a cover page to introduce infants to the concept of a "book cover".
- Use a different color of construction paper for each shape (remember: two of each).
- Glue one shape to a white sheet of paper (copy paper works well). Put the other shape aside as it will be used for the matching piece.
- Then glue the white sheet onto a sheet of construction paper (use the same color as the shape). Allow the page to dry for twenty-four hours.
- After the page has set for twenty-four hours, print the name of each shape underneath in basic large, bold letters. I used the computer to type the shape name and printed it out on the white copy paper for the book pictured here.
- You are now ready to laminate the sheets. And, you will need to laminate the set of shapes you set aside for matching but do them separately. If you do not have a laminator, you can use your iron to seal the page. Simple place the each sheet between a cotton cloth and press for about thirty seconds over the entire page. You may have to do this in sections. If you prefer, some teacher's stores and libraries have laminators that you can use for a minimal cost.
- Once your sheets are laminated you, punch two to three holes on one side and slip the book rings through your pages to connect them as one book.
- Attach Velcro to the shape on each page and to the corresponding matching shape you made. (Hook on one and loop on the other. See the book picture above for an example.) Let the book and the matching pieces sit for at least twelve hours to ensure the Velcro stays in place.
You are now ready to play with baby. Introduce your child to each shape slowly. Start by tracing the shape, pronouncing the name and then lifting it off for added interest. Allow baby to also touch the shape. At some point your child will want to pull the shape off and replace it by himself. I find that children love to hear the Velcro rip from the page and enjoy the texture of it as well. This is an additional plus as it makes for a great sensory experience. Once your child has mastered the shape concept, you can begin naming the colors (i.e., "let's match the green square")
Infants and toddlers learn about their world through touch and taste and it is almost impossible to keep this sensory experience from happening with books. Use caution when reading these books with your child. Steer him away from using it as a teether and redirect attention to the book content. You may have to introduce the books a few minutes at a time until your child learns how to play (read) with the book.
You may discover that your child enjoys reading this book repeatedly. Your child may not be able to pronounce the shape names and colors but the concept of matching is what you want to see from this experience. Early matching skills lead to understanding math patterns and logic reasoning when they reach pre-school age. This is well worth the time and effort it takes to make a home-made book for your infant or toddler.