Literacy Learning Through Creating Books of Their Own

This post is by regular contributor Tricia Hogbin of Little Eco Footprints.

I’ve helped my daughter create her own books from when she was only two years old. She’s now five and her little collection of books share the story of many of our most treasured moments and provide a window into the development of her literacy.

Most of her books were created as mementos of family holidays. I give her a blank notebook to draw in at the start of each holiday and once we return home I stick photos of the trip into the book amongst her drawings.

Once she learnt how to write she started to add the words herself, copying from words she’d asked me to write for her.

She then progressed to copying entire sentences (flowers are her favourite way of covering up mistakes).

She’s now learning how to spell and compose sentences herself, so we have books full of delightfully weird spelling.

Her books are far from fancy. Most were frantically finished the night we returned home from holidays so that she could take the book to child care with her the following day. In the beginning I considered the books ‘temporary’ until we had time to create ‘proper’ holiday photo albums. But over time I’ve grown to love these quick books and am glad we didn’t wait for those ‘proper’ photo albums.

Do you help your children to create books?

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  1. I love your books and how authentic they are!
    I have often ‘put off’ doing the holiday books, until I have the perfect time & resources, but to be honest, the kidlets are delighted with whatever they make. And finishing the books as soon as possible keeps them interested and makes them much better resources for learning.
    What a beautiful record you have of watching your child’s writing grow!

  2. Great idea!
    For the last year or so we’ve had a scrapbook (not the fancy kind) where we write the story of important events/holidays/etc and add photos/pictures/colouring in. Mr 3 loves to hear them again and again.
    Just this evening we were reading the story of last September’s holiday and he commented ‘I don’t remember playing with that Thomas train table’. He’s never made a comment like that before, I find it very interesting to see such evidence of his memories fading.

  3. I love these we do scrapbooks over the holidays as well. However I must start to encourage my daughter to write in them. She is only 2 but I think this would be good practice. I really liked seeing your books makes me think about what my daughter will start to progress on to.

  4. If we want to have children more creative, we must teach them to think. As you’ve managed to implement this in thinking of your child. I like your idea.

    Such people have believed that everyone is naturally creative but is inhibited. This inhibition arises from the need to provide only the “right” answers at school. This inhibition arises from that fear of making mistakes or seeming ridiculous in business or professional life.

    If we want to be more creative, then we have to think.
    Creativity does not have to remain a mystical gift.

    Recently I posted an article on my blog, “Creative thinking” that you highly recommend it. There you will find two reasons why we have neglected creative thinking.

  5. This is wonderful. I keep all his artwork and I keep a lot of it in a special book where we write notes etc, but this is something I’d love to do, especially as he’s showing real interest in writing lots of words at the moment. Thanks for this Tricia (and Christie!).

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