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Simple Home-Made Books for Infants and Toddlers

Use a cover page to introduce book format to young children.

Use a cover page to introduce book format to young children.

Large shapes against a white background work well in holding a child's interest.

Large shapes against a white background work well in holding a child's interest.

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.

A Sample Reading Experience for Parents

Book Instructions

Here is what you will need to make a book.

  • Construction Paper
  • White copy paper
  • Scissors
  • Rubber Cement Glue
  • Ruler
  • Clasp-style book rings
  • Velcro
  • 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.

  1. 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".
  2. Use a different color of construction paper for each shape (remember: two of each).
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.


The Value of Teaching Your Child to Read

The close interaction between parent and child at an early age leads to a lifetime of reading enjoyment.

The close interaction between parent and child at an early age leads to a lifetime of reading enjoyment.

Comments

Mary Hyatt from Florida on May 12, 2014:

I used to make my children books from fabric, but these ideas are great. Now I have a 3yr. old Great granddaughter and the cycle continues!

Voted UP, etc.

Dianna Mendez (author) on October 29, 2012:

Dwachira, today it is something parents do think about; keeping things within budget cost. Simple home made books and toys are very useful and excellent in teaching kids and all within reasonable cost. Thanks for your added value here. Enjoy your day!

Danson Wachira from Nairobi, Kenya on October 29, 2012:

Hi teaches12345,

You have very creative ideas here about making interactive book for young ones. This step by step project can be very useful to parents especially when life dictates tight budget and frugal living. Voted up and useful.

Dianna Mendez (author) on August 15, 2012:

Thanks Nora! Love your visit here. Enjoy your day.

Dianna Mendez (author) on August 15, 2012:

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Nora411 from Chicago, IL on August 14, 2012:

Great ideas and it also makes learning fun for the kids :) Voting up and useful!!

Dianna Mendez (author) on August 13, 2012:

Unknown spy, glad you enjoyed the hub and that you found it fascinating. Have a great evening.

Life Under Construction from Neverland on August 12, 2012:

Useful and so creative. simple yet very fascinating to read

Dianna Mendez (author) on March 21, 2012:

The simple books are a real hit with toddlers as they learn to pull the shapes off and say the names/colors. I am glad you came by for a chat. Thanks for the supportive vote, Vellur. Blessings.

Nithya Venkat from Dubai on March 21, 2012:

Very useful and creative. Children will want to read such books. Voted up. Loved this idea.

Dianna Mendez (author) on March 21, 2012:

Jamie, have your son help you with the book as a great learning activity. This will draw his interest even more to the idea of reading for fun. Thank you for the visit and the vote. You are always a welcome visitor!

Jamie Brock from Texas on March 20, 2012:

What a great idea! I love the thought of this.. Like you wrote, you could do it with numbers, colors and all kinds of things. My son just turned 4 and I would like to make him some sort of book like this. What a great hub! Voting up and useful :0)

Dianna Mendez (author) on March 20, 2012:

You were way ahead of the group in teaching your children the love of reading! Your engaging them in the activity was a good approach to getting them to read. Thanks for the lovely visit and comment. Be safe and well.

Sophie on March 20, 2012:

Wow! I used to do this with pictures cut out of cards and magazines for my kids.. they enjoyed helping make the books and were quite proud of them because it was their handy work too. Great Hub! Thanks for sharing. Have a lovely day!

Dianna Mendez (author) on March 17, 2012:

Teacherjoe52, yes it would work well as a class project. And, as children become engaged in the activity they will learn so much about the subject. Thanks for your visit and positive commments.

teacherjoe52 on March 17, 2012:

Very good idea

This would make a good project for class

Dianna Mendez (author) on March 09, 2012:

Great idea, AM Werner, with the binding. This really makes a keepsake look extra special and durable. Thanks for the follow and the encouragement.

Allen Werner from West Allis on March 08, 2012:

This is great. We homeschooled our girls when they were younger and did a lot of things like this, even letting them assemble their writings. It was a lot of fun. Lately my wife and I have been experimenting with actual book binding, stitching etc. It is a very patient craft. I hope more parents take the time to do things like this with their kids and bring them back from the video world. Thankfully, my daughters like the feel of a book in their hands. They read all the time and don't want kindles. And there is nothing better than having something you made yourself. Peace

Dianna Mendez (author) on March 05, 2012:

Thank you, cookingrecipes. I appreciate your comment and vote of support. See you around hubpages!

Dianna Mendez (author) on February 28, 2012:

Hello bilips! Glad you enjoyed the read and I appreciate your comment. Yes, you can't go wrong with something homemade and straight from the heart.

billips from Central Texas on February 27, 2012:

There is nothing nicer than a home-made gift - something truly unique that is made especially for you - this is a very nice hub, easy to read and useful - B.

Dianna Mendez (author) on February 27, 2012:

I agree,ChristyWrites, this is a good idea for those who are on a budget. It can be made from things you find around the home. And, if lamination is a problem you can always use sheet covers (however, much care must be used around children). Thanks for the follow and the vote up!

Christy Birmingham from British Columbia, Canada on February 27, 2012:

What a useful hub for a person on a budget or wanting to create a unique item for an infant or young child. I vote up!

Dianna Mendez (author) on February 26, 2012:

It is good to have a variety of books on hand to rotate every couple of months or so. Children needs lots of exposure in different forms and fashion. This option allows for fun learning and can be used over and over (I forgot to mention that it can be cleaned with a simple wetwipe). Thanks for the follow and your wonderful comment.

kerlynb from Philippines, Southeast Asia, Earth ^_^ on February 26, 2012:

Homemade, handmade books do the work! Thanks for the step-by-step instructions on how to make one. Actually, I personally think that it is not absolutely necessary to buy all these pricey books that are branded to help toddlers and infants become super brainy (like Einstein :) ). They oftentimes give parents false hopes. Other than the books, I also think that parents' or guardians' dedication to helping toddlers and infants learn is also so important. Voting your hub up, useful and awesome as it is!

Dianna Mendez (author) on February 26, 2012:

You have the right direction, ripplemaker, in being creative with preschoolers. It's fun and worth the effort. Thanks for reading the hub and you are most welcome!

Dianna Mendez (author) on February 26, 2012:

Ruchira, the personalized books will go a long way in stimulating reading skills and also be a treasured keepsake. Thanks for the visit and the support.

Michelle Simtoco from Cebu, Philippines on February 25, 2012:

This made me smile. It's simple and creative! I loved this idea as we too try to be creative in our preschool. :) Thanks for writing about this!

Ruchira from United States on February 25, 2012:

Loved your ideas, teaches12345.

Small tips on saving..goes a long way.

Making a personalized book will make the child treasure it further. loved the idea!

Voting it up as useful and awesome!

Dianna Mendez (author) on February 25, 2012:

Sinea, you are so right, my child enjoyed these books and then my grandchildren enjoyed them as well. And, they are all avid readers with skills three - four grade levels above their current grade. This is a blessing but also just proves that a little encouragement goes a long way. Thank you for your visit and for leaving a comment.

Sinea Pies from Northeastern United States on February 24, 2012:

Hang onto those DIY books for when your kids are grown up. They will be so touched by the care you took to make them.

Dianna Mendez (author) on February 21, 2012:

Hi PeggyW! It is the bonding between parent and child that really builds interest in any learning opportunity. Thank you for stopping in to visit and your vote of support.

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on February 21, 2012:

Reading to kids at an early age is so important! What is encouraged by this hub is interaction between parent and child and this is terrific. Up and useful votes!

Dianna Mendez (author) on February 20, 2012:

I agree, rebeccamealey, parents would see children excel early in primary grades if they would just introduce them to reading. Thanks for the visit and for leaving a comment. Have a restful evening.

Rebecca Mealey from Northeastern Georgia, USA on February 20, 2012:

I love the Velcro attachments idea. If more parents did these type things there would be a lot less reading problems later on!

Dianna Mendez (author) on February 19, 2012:

Thanks for stopping in, Savanahl. I hope your infant loves the book. You will both benefit from the time spent together.

savanahl on February 19, 2012:

I'll definitely try this with my 6 month old. Great idea. Thanks for sharing.

Dianna Mendez (author) on February 18, 2012:

It is good to see you stop in for a visit, Alocsin. Thank you for yor encouragement and vote up. Will see you on hubpages soon.

Aurelio Locsin from Orange County, CA on February 18, 2012:

This is wondeful. I think it's also a great craft project that older kids can do for their younger siblings. Voting this Up and Useful.

Dianna Mendez (author) on February 17, 2012:

Aliciac, you understand the concept of the book. It is a great tool in teaching reading skills to young children. Thanks for commenting and the warm visit.

Dianna Mendez (author) on February 17, 2012:

Thanks michiganman567. Yes, it is a fun type of book for babies and it does help teach them about matching.

Dave Smith from Michigan on February 17, 2012:

This looks very handy. I think that you will make plenty of babies happy with your crafty books.

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on February 17, 2012:

These books are a great idea for young children, teaches12345, and they look like they're fun to make too! I love the fact that the children can manipulate the shapes as well as look at them.

Dianna Mendez (author) on February 17, 2012:

Thanks for stopping in anyway, The Frog Prince. I appreciate your visit. Look to the future, as Snow White used to sing, "some day my prince(cess) will come!"

The Frog Prince from Arlington, TX on February 17, 2012:

Alas teaches I have no children or grandchildren and none on the horizon. But still have the want of a good woman. LOL

The Frog

Dianna Mendez (author) on February 17, 2012:

Allisaroberts, I agree these books are durable but you still have to guide babies while reading. Thanks for the comment and support.

Alissa Roberts from Normandy, TN on February 16, 2012:

I love this idea! There is no telling how many pages out of books both my boys tore up when they were babies. These books would have been the perfect solution. Great hub - voted up and useful!

Dianna Mendez (author) on February 16, 2012:

Thanks,justmesuzanne! I appreciate your visit and commenting on the hub. I had fun using this book with my grandchild and toddlers I taught in child care. It's simple but does teach them about matching.

justmesuzanne from Texas on February 16, 2012:

Great ways to interest children in art and reading while teaching a variety of concepts! Voted up and useful! :)

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