Getting kids excited to author books is one of the best ways to motivate writing. When kids put their writing into book format, they tend to feel like real authors who are proud of what they write and eager to share with others. I’ve already mentioned that kids can author authentic books using the fantastic blank book products from Barebooks.com, or they can quickly make their own books with paper and staples/rings (see Tip #11). Or, as a craft activity in and of itself, kids can have fun making all sorts of blank books in order to create a supply for later use. Take a morning to create a collection of creative blank books. Perhaps start by brainstorming with your kids about their ideas for possibilities, and share your ideas too. What materials around the house might make for good book covers and pages? Decide on your favorite ideas, take out a variety of materials, and go to town. Here are a few ideas that we’ve enjoyed making at home:
- Fun cardstock or scrapbook paper for front and back covers, filled with printer paper and staple.
- Coffee holder books. We love these! Grab some coffee sleeves next time you’re buying coffee. Cut one side, and the holder becomes the front and back covers of the book. Insert your own paper, and bind with rings or staples.
- Book-in-a-book-in-a-book. My kids have loved these too! It essentially involves folding a variety of sizes of paper, and glueing the back of each small size inside the larger size.
Simple accordion book. Kids can learn how to do these quite easily, and they can make them out of any paper (simple or fancy) at home in just a few minutes.
Cereal box book. Even favorite cereal boxes can be used to make fun blank books!
- Miniature matchbox books. This teacher shows various ways to make miniature books that fit inside matchboxes. My kids love miniature versions of things so this is a hit for bookmaking. It’s easy too!
- Brown paper bag book. The kids seem to get a kick out of these, perhaps because of the crinkliness of paper lunch bags. Check out this website for instructions on how to make these fun books.
- Tiny paint chip book. These are super cute and super easy! Here’s a good website that shows how to make them.
Super cool exploding box book. We haven’t tried making these yet but they look so cool! Here’s a website with some instructions on how to make it, but if you type google “exploding box book” and check out the images, you’ll see a ton of options!
Paper clip books. These are so easy — all you need is paper, a paper clip, and a rubber band. Check out this teacher’s instructions for how to make them.
- Duct tape blank book. Grab any small notebook and cover the front and back with duct tape. Easy for kids, and they look and feel great!
- Accordion envelope book. We love this one too! Grab a handful of envelopes, and glue the envelope fold of one envelope to the backside of another envelope. Click here are some great instructions. Kids can write the text on the envelopes themselves, or they can add paper or cardstock inside each pocket. My kids have also had fun making these as cards for people, with little notes and surprises inside each pocket.
When kids make fun books such as these, they will likely be excited about their creations and want to use them!!!