My three year old has recently become curious about where she lives. She’s also become a little obsessed with spotting flags when we’re driving around town. I decided that I would make her a little book that included her town, state, and country as well as the corresponding flags.
I learned how to make these super simple mini books while teaching elementary school, and I used them all the time in my classroom. My students always liked when we did our assignments in extreme sizes – miniature or jumbo, so I knew Kora would love her book too.
I quickly made her book while she was taking her afternoon nap (oh how I drew a simple map of her town that included our house, the library, Aggieland, and her dad’s work. On the next double page spread I drew the state of Texas and the Texas flag. I drew little stick figures in a house to represent Kora and her sister at home and then more stick figures for both sets of her grandparents. This way she can have an idea of where her family lives in relation to her home. The last spread was an outline of the United States that included an outline of Texas and a little house to represent home. I also drew a little American flag (I will admit that when I drew it I did not take the time to count the stripes or draw all the stars. I just wanted to get the general image down).
When Kora woke up from nap, she was so excited about her book. She played with it all afternoon. She kept showing me over and over where she lived and how to get to Dad’s work. She found an urgent need to FaceTime Grandma to show off her book. She continued to play with her book for the next several days.
Then she asked me where Africa was in her book. Uh oh. I had to throw together a quick world map on the back (please don’t laugh at my lack of artistic abilities). She’s been asking us to take her to Africa for a while now so she can see the animals. She keeps telling her dad we need a plane.
She enjoyed her first mini book so much I made her another one about her and one of her friends. I added simple sentences so that she can read it herself. She is so proud of her friend book, and she carries it around with her in her adventure bag.
Since Kora is really enjoying her book and since they’re a great teaching resource, I thought I’d take a minute to show you how to make them. They’re super quick and simple and you can use them for any topic/subject imaginable.
Take a sheet of paper and fold it in half hot dog style. You can use any kind of paper – I used manila and regular copy paper. Once you have your paper folded in half, fold it in half hamburger style twice.
Next, open your paper all the way up and fold it in half hamburger style. You’re going to then cut halfway down the middle of the paper, starting at the folded edge and following the crease. I drew a pink line to illustrate where you need to cut.
Once you have made your cut, unfold your paper and refold it hot dog style. Holding the two ends, gently push the paper together like an accordion, then crease all the edges. Fold your book in half hamburger style one more time, and your book is complete. I tape the edges of the book together to make it easier for Kora to flip pages, but that’s not necessary.
The movie “Jeff, Who Lives at Home” inspired the title for this post. My two year old loves to read which makes my heart happy! Sometimes I ask her to bring me a book to read to her, but more often than not, she asks me to read to her. And not only that, but I find her all the time just sitting reading to herself.
Now I know that she can’t actually read the words, but she’s looking at the pictures and she’s making up he own stories. Did I mention that this makes my heart happy?
I’ve been taking pictures of her reading lately and I wanted to share a few of them.
She reads in the car:
She reads in the boat:
She even reads with a goat! Just kidding. But I should totally find a goat and have her read with it!
Our local library had reading logs to motivate kids to read over the summer. We took in Kora’s reading log at the halfway point to claim our halfway prize – a coupon book for the Great American Cookie Company. This led to a trip to the mall for a free cookie!
After marking the log for 30 days, we took it to the library to claim her prize – a new book!
Here she is showing off her new book to her dad. She is so proud!
Also over the summer we filled out a reading log from HEB. After completing the log, we put it in an envelope and took it to the post office to mail off. She was so excited when she received a package from HEBuddy with a certificate and t-shirt!
Hopefully Kora’s love for reading will continue as she gets older. To encourage her, we read every night before bed and we visit the local library frequently. She thinks she’s such a big shot as she’s browsing through all the books. I’m hoping to introduce her to chapter books soon. Any suggestions for good books to hold a toddler’s attention?