Making a book about, or with your toddler, is a good way to get them interested in books and beginning to talk about things that are important to them.
Use an old notebook or scrapbook, or you could make your own book: Cut cardboard boxes into evenly sized pages and join them together with string. This will make a board book that your child can handle independently.
Use photos, leaflets, and magazine clippings to fill the book with things and people that are important to your child.
You might want to include:
- Photos of important people, such as themselves, you, brothers and sisters, grandparents, pets, or special friends.
- Pictures of favourite toys; maybe a special teddy, comfort blanket, a train, or set of blocks.
- Pictures of their favourite TV or book character.
- Pictures of favourite foods (or maybe use an empty wrapper).
- Memories from places they like to go; this might be a park , supermarket, or bus (you could stick in a leaf they found, cut out the supermarket logo from food packaging or stick in a bus ticket).
- Photos of your child doing things they like, maybe drawing, playing with a ball or singing.
- If you decide to make the book together with your child, remember not to worry too much about how it looks, if the pictures are upside down or overlapping that’s okay!
- Adding a word or two on each page will help your child begin to understand the link between the written and spoken word. For example, Mum, blanket etc.
- When you read the book together talk about what you can see in the pictures. You can use the pictures to help your child’s memory too, ask questions like ‘Do you remember when …’ ‘Last time we went on the bus, where did we go?’
- Encourage your child to share the book with other people in your family.
- You can keep adding to the book as your toddler grows up and learns new things.
Good to know
Making books together not only builds reading skills, but it makes life-long memories too.