It was always very much my intention to have my first post on bookmaking with small people be the first of at least a few, but things have been very busy around our house and it wasn't until this afternoon that I finally had time to give a bit more thought to the execution of this intention.
The last post definitely received as much positive feedback as a girl might hope for, but I got enough emails from folks mentioning that they would like a really, very simple bookmaking project to use with very small children that I thought that I might head that direction next. Not that this project is at all specific to only the tiny ones; I've used it with preschoolers with great success, yes, but have also seen teachers use it for perhaps more sophisticated purposes (such as making little books for multiplication facts related to a certain number). It is versatile; it is simple; it is great for when you are stuck waiting for a table in a restaurant with only an old piece of notebook paper and a dull pencil.
It is the easy eight-fold book!
What you will need:
One piece of 8 1/2 by 11 inch paper
Your manual dexterity
Get the aforementioned paper and lay it out on a flat (or flat-ish) surface.
Fold the paper in half in the landscape (also known as lengthwise) direction. Make sure that your corners match up nicely and that you make a nice sharp crease where the paper folds.
Fold the paper in half again, this time in the portrait direction.
Take the paper (which is now folded into fourths) and fold the top flap back towards the fold that you made when you folded the paper in half portrait-wise. This is one of those things that will make a lot more sense when you are looking at the picture, so look up, right now. See?
Turn the folded paper over so that the flap that was previously on the bottom (the largest unfolded area of the paper that you've got left) is now facing up towards you. Keep the open end (not the end that was your original portrait direction fold, the other one) closest to you.
Fold the paper back, bringing the open edge up to the crease behind it (your original portrait direction fold).
Well, not so much a step, just a check in to make sure that your book looks like the one above when you stand it on end. Yes? Good.
Now get busy writing! These books have turned out to the be a perfect solution for my girl, who is a beginning writer but an expert and accomplished storyteller. She draws, I write (what she tells me to and nothing more or less) and brilliant literature is created. I mean, how else could we possibly classify tales of suitcase-toting guinea pigs running away to join the circus?
I usually try to keep a stack of these little books already folded and stowed away in Mariam's little art caddy. This way, if she gets the urge to write the great American novel she has all the necessary supplies handy and can just carry them to the table and get busy.