Making books with kids can be a lot of fun, especially if you have the right materials and enough time to work at a comfortable pace. The best book styles to make with young children have easy to follow steps and open-ended ways for them to show their individuality through pictures and stories. Here are a couple of book forms I made with Lilly DePino’s kindergarten class last Thursday at Dummerston School in Vermont.
Before I arrived, we prepared a set of pre-folded warm or cool papers for each student. They could cut any 2 shapes out of the paper with scissors, but were instructed to leave plenty of space along the center fold so it could be bound at the end.
Some children cut small shapes, and others cut large shapes.
After all of their shapes were cut, students decided the order of their pages, thinking about what areas they wanted to reveal from one page to the next. The teachers and I helped them staple the finished book along the spine. The rainbow book provoked an interesting conversation about color, and I asked them what each family of colors made them think of. Warm colors reminded them of fire and the sun. Cool colors made them think of water, grass and the sky.
For the second book form, in a circle on the carpet I introduced the students to bone folders (seen in the image below) and allowed them to test the new tool out with scrap pieces of paper. Then I handed out a long sheet of colored construction paper and step by step we turned them into accordion books. Having everyone in a circle made it easy to see who needed help or was still working on a step.
Next, the children went back to their tables and drew stories with markers on four separate sheets of drawing paper.
Once they finished drawing their stories, they glued each page in the order of their choice.
Behind the little girl holding her book below, you can see two very kind kindergarteners helping put away the baskets and trays (without me even asking!). If I’ve learned anything from my many school visits over the years, it’s that they love to be helpful! I will take all the help I can get when it comes to cleaning up after making art .
My next stop this week is to work with the kindergarten classes at Pine Hill School in Sherborn, Massachusetts. Hopefully I’ll have some more photos to share when I return! For more information about The Carle’s Outreach Programs click here.
Thanks for having me Dummerston School!