For the last couple of years, the school where I was teaching had an arts integration focus where we looking at creative ways to integrate art and writing for children. One thing that we did was a lot of bookmaking with the kids, even the really little guys in kindergarten and first grade. The kids loved making their own books, and it provided a really great platform for helping students to develop a vision of the purpose of writing and how the written word comes to be.
I loved the bookmaking projects that we teachers learned in our arts integration trainings, and over time, I have adapted a few of them for use at home with Mariam. I realized the other evening that I hadn't ever shared them here, and that people might be grateful for some easy summer craft projects (especially if you are east coast people experiencing the joy of one rainy day after another). So, today I'll be sharing the first of a mini-series of posts focusing on bookmaking with children. Here goes!
8 fold accordion books:
8 1/2" by 11" card stock in color of your choosing
8 1/2" by 11" colored paper
8 1/2" by 11" white paper
scissors or a paper cutter
a folding tool (such as a bone folder or a popsicle stick)
writing and drawing implements
This is a quick project that can be done in one sitting and can be easily adapted for children from ages 3 on up. I've done this successfully with my own daughter (who is five) and also with kids at school up through fifth grade. It would be a great way to retell a favorite family story or memory and then be given as a gift!
Using a bone folder (or a sturdy popsicle stick) fold a piece of card stock in half. Use the folding tool to make sure that your crease is smooth and sharp. This piece of card stock will become the binding of your book.
Now, open the piece of card stock back up and fold each half of the card stock in half again (fold toward the middle).
Open the card stock up again. It should now be folded into fourths. Fold the section closest to you in half again.
Now turn the card stock over, and fold the next section (moving towards the middle) in half as well. You are basically going to keep turning the card stock over and each time you turn it, fold the next fourth in half again so that the entire piece is folded accordion style into eighths.
When you are finished folding the card stock accordion-style, it should look like the picture above. At this point I should probably mention that every time I type the word "accordion," I think about how Mariam is always telling me that she wants to grow up to be a crossing guard who plays the accordion. Moving on...
Cut another piece of card stock in half so that it now measures 5 1/2" by 8 1/2". Take the folded piece of card stock and glue the half-piece onto the first accordion on the outside. This will make your front cover.
Do the same with the outside of the final accordion so that you now have both a front and back cover attached to your accordion binding.
If it suits your fancy, you can also now glue a slightly smaller piece of colored paper to the front and/or back cover. It suited my fancy, so I did this here. I cut the colored paper to be about 4 1/2" by 8". I then (sort of) centered it and glued it onto the half sheet of card stock.
Next, cut two pieces of colored paper so that they are the same size as the card stock cover pieces (5 1/2" by 8 1/2"). Glue them to the backs of the front and back covers, sandwiching the first and last accordion folds inside.
Now you will make the pages for the inside of the book. Take another half-sheet of colored paper (again 5 1/2" by 8 1/2") and glue it to the front side (the one facing the front cover) of the next accordion fold.
Do the same with two more half-sheets of colored paper, gluing each to the front side of the next two accordion folds. The backs of each fold will be left blank (just the folded card stock). You now have the "skeleton" of your book!
Commission a favorite small person to do the artwork for the book. I had Mariam draw her story pages on white drawing paper that I cut slightly smaller than the book pages. You could use anything though. I love the idea of using fancy papers to make collages. I also had Mariam dictate her story for me to write down- she titled it "Mary Had a Little Lamb" but it definitely deviates quite a bit from the original...
Paste the story pages onto the fronts of the three pages in the book.
Once your story pages/pictures are glued in, your book is basically finished. You can also add a title to the cover or paste another picture there. We didn't do all that much with the cover this time around because the resident artist got restless and went outside to look for backyard bunnies.
You'll also notice that you can stand your book up and that because of the folds, it can can be "stretched out" for display. How cool is that?