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Word play - Books
Make your own books  Like this activity  
45 mins - 1 hour activity Suitable for Birth - 5 years

Location Indoor

Use photos of your child and their adventures to make special books for them. Choose some photos together and print them out. Glue them on pages so they make a story. Your child can help to add decorations like stickers or drawings. Write the story in the book together and then join the pages with cable ties or ribbons. Your child will love hearing you read a story about them.

Materials you will need

  • Glue
  • Pencils
  • Stickers
  • Cardboard
  • Pictures
  • Scissors
  • Hole punch
  • Ribbon
  • Photos
  • Textas
  • Cable ties

Alternative tools

  • String

Why does this matter?

This activity encourages children to engage with books from an early age. As the books are about familiar people and - most importantly - themselves, they are often more interested than with other types of books. These books very soon become favourites.

What does this lead to?

Making books helps children to develop an interest in reading and an understanding of the connection between print, pictures and the spoken word. It helps with recall and memory.

Language and Questions to use

  • Story, book
  • Once upon a time, the end
  • Front cover, back cover, page
  • Picture, word, sentence
  • Sticker, decoration, ribbons, cable ties
  • Do you remember when we did this?
  • What is your favourite part of your story?
  • What else can we make a book about?

Useful Tips

  1. You could create make-believe stories and have your child ‘star’ in the book.
  2. You could laminate your book to make it stronger.
  3. Remember to talk to your child in your home language.

More ideas

  1. Give your child a blank notebook to make their own scrapbook.
  2. While on holidays keep a journal with your child.

Variation by age

Birth to two year olds

  • Make books about colours, textures, shapes and numbers. For example, you could use photos of your child wearing differently coloured clothes. You could add material with different textures to photos of your child, such as wool for hair or linen for shirts.
  • Babies and younger children like books about the family. Even a book with pictures of everyone who is special to them is great. Make sure you include everyone’s names.
  • Make a book tree at home. Place a leaf on the tree every time you read a book.

Questions to use

  • Where are you on this page?
  • What are you wearing in this picture? Is it the red shirt or the orange shorts?

Language to use

  • There's Aunty Rosie. She loves to play with you.
  • What is Uncle Jack doing? He's shearing a sheep!

Three to five year olds

  • Three to five year olds like books about things they have done such as their birthday party or going on an outing.  Even a book with pictures of everyone who is special to them is great. Make sure you include everyone’s names.
  • Let your child use the camera to take photos of people and places that are important to them. Help them to use the photos to make their own book.
  • Make a book tree at home. Place a leaf on the tree every time you read a book.

Questions to use

  • What could we make a book about?
  • What happens next? Let's turn the page and find out.

Language to use

  • There's Aunty Rebecca. Can you remember when we last saw her?

Make your own books

Skills this activity improves

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