Friday, 20 January 2012

Activities: Homemade books

Stories, songs and activities are ways of passing time and passing on culture.  The Activities posts record ways of sharing language, experiences and creating memories. 

We love books.  I love books.  I used to have a lot, I loved looking at them on the shelves, the patchwork of colour they provided in the room and the collection of memories and adventures they represented.

When we left France, I sold all of my books at a vide grenier (equivalent of a car boot sale).  There was something immensely uplifting about letting go of this (literal, literary) weight that I had been shifting about for years.  Into the bargain, I got to meet the new owners of the books and spent most of the day chatting to people about their stories, what brought them to France, what made them want to read in English, who they were buying for.  I left the vide grenier lighter, slightly richer and definitely more enriched.

Making books with Puce has always been a great rainy day activity. Homemade books are a great way of recording a moment in time, a certain creative style or creating a gift.  There's something very exciting for a small person about making your own book, and writing your own story.

This style is the simplest way of making a book-book (one that looks gratifyingly like a book), but I'll talk about other styles in another post.

A few sheets of A4, a coloured sheet on top of the pile makes the cover folded in half , then stapled on the side to hold the lot together.  The paper from the children's department in Ikea is a good weight for making the cover.

We've used these for writing about big events to share with Papa (starting school), holiday books, or as a basis for using stamps and creating a story.  The trick with story-building has always been the same as any craft activity: hold back and let the toddler get on with it.  There won't be a beginning/middle/end, it's a different style.  And that works too.

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