Homemade books are my favorite way of teaching babies to read. I do use all the methods mentioned here, but I find books to be very versatile and fun to make. Books are a wonderful way to supplement your reading program. They are easy to flip through and they are durable.
Materials Needed to Make Homemade Books
In order to make books you will need:
White 8 1/2 x 11-inch copy paper
A non-toxic red or black marker
Pictures from magazines or printed from the Internet
Clear, plastic sheet protectors
A soft 3-ring folder
How to Make Books
When you make books for your child, you want to be sure to keep the word separate from the image. You will do this by writing the word on one piece of copy paper landscape style. I tend to use black markers when I make my books. This is because most books are written in a black font, and black font is easier to read when you have more than one word. Either color works, so use either one. Always follow the rule to keep plenty of white space around the word. Next, you will tape your picture on a new piece of copy paper.
A soft 3-ring folder will act as your cover and is able to hold between 30 -40 pages. You can create books that have around 15-20 words followed by 15-20 pictures. You will place them in the binder; word then picture, word then picture. You can even write the word book on the front cover in black marker.
You may want to give your book a title if you created it around a certain theme. If it is all about animals you may want to call it “Animal Book”. You do not, however, have to create the books around a theme. I have many books that contain all different kinds of words.
I like to peruse magazines and clip any pictures that are large and clearly identify what they are. Then, I write the words, tape the pictures and put together a new book in very little time.
I also have many themed books. I have books that are all about animals, food, actions and so forth. You can make books with couplets. You can also make storybooks around pictures you find. You can make books about your baby’s day. Babies love to hear about themselves, so try making a book as follows.
My name is Jennifer Smith.
I am one year old.
I live in Detroit, Michigan.
I have two sisters.
I like to drink milk.
You can create a story around pictures of your baby. This is guaranteed to be one of your baby’s favorite books to read.
You can create books of poetry or nursery rhymes.
You can create a family album. Take a small photo album and place the names of family members followed by a picture. Babies love these!
You can also create books using postcards and small photo albums. I have created many travel-size books using 4×6 inch index cards and small pictures or postcards. These are easy to bring along in your diaper bag and read while you are out.
Once you have your book completed, you will show it to your baby in a manner similar to the way you show flash cards. Sit down with your baby and place the book in front of you. Say each word in a joyful, upbeat voice. You can run your finger under the words as you say them to help your baby make more phonetic connections. After you say the word, quickly flip the page and look at the picture.
If your baby enjoys the pictures, you can spend more time looking at these and discussing them. Do not have your baby stare at the words. A baby must only see the word for a split second in order to learn to read, but the pictures can be savored and discussed without any adverse affects. However, you do not always need to spend a lot of time discussing the pictures. You can quickly flip through the book, just saying the words, and never comment on the picture, if necessary.
As far as books are concerned, the sky is the limit with what you can create for your child. My idea of an ideal day is to sit and create a bunch of new materials for my baby. I get so excited at all the things there are for them to learn.
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