Making books is a very effective way of encouraging children to want to read and write.

Children love books that are personal to them. If you have more time than usual at home at the moment, have a go at one of these book ideas.

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Ideas on making a book

Zig-zag book

Fold a piece of paper or card concertina style. Any size of paper or card can be used.

Simple paper or card book

Using A4 paper or card, take two or more sheets and fold them in two. Staple or sew the sheets together.

Shaped book

Fold a piece of A4 card and draw the desired outline shape (e.g. a car, a spider’s web or a sandcastle) on one half. Then cut it out. Fold at least two sheets of A4 paper in half and place them inside the shaped card. Staple or sew them together. Trace the outline of the shaped card on to the sheets of A4 paper and then cut out the A4 paper so that the inside pages of the book are the same shape as the outside cover. This book can be based around a child’s interest.

 Book with lift-up flaps

  • Make a simple paper or card book (see Idea 2). Cut and stick, or draw, a picture in the book.
  • To make the lift-up flap, cut out a piece of card that is a bit bigger than the picture you want to cover. Fold-down a strip about 1cm wide along with one of the edges, and glue this to the page to make a flap that covers the picture.

Photograph book

Use a slip-in photo album to make a book with a photograph on one side and text on the other.

What to put in your book

An ‘All about me’ book

You can include:

  • Name and age – my birthday
  • My family – photos or drawings
  • A picture of me – photo and / or drawing
  • My pets
  • Things I like to do best
  • My special things – a favourite toy or object

Routine book 

Make a personalised book about the child’s own morning, mealtime or bedtime routine. Read a book about bedtime routines, for example, ‘Goodnight Moon’. Use the style of the story you read together to make the child’s own book about their bedtime routine and their bedroom.

A colour book

You can decide on a single colour for your book or use a different colour on each page. Using a magazine or brochure look through it with the child and talk about the different pictures in the magazine. Let the child choose the colour pictures. Cut them out and stick them into the book together. Encourage the child to describe the pictures. You can write their words in the book if they can’t quite do it yet.

A cookery book

A book for your favourite things to eat. This can be very simple, for example, ‘How to make a sandwich’. This could then be used to support mealtime routines.

Collection of your favourite stories

Re-tell and illustrate a favourite story or fairy tale. Or share a story with your child and then ask them to re-tell it in their own words. Alternatively, they can make their own story up about a character from the book you’ve just read.