Make It. Write It. Read It.

Having your young children create their own books is one of the best activities to encourage them to write.  A variety of books can be made, including “peek-a-boo” books, pop-up books, shape books (cover is in the outline of a particular animal or other theme), accordion books (paper is folded accordion style, with each section illustrating separate parts of the story) and flip books (cut into three sections, with head of a person or animal on top section, torso on middle section, legs and feet on bottom section).  Provide your child with examples of differently constructed books.  Explain the tools and techniques needed to construct the books.  Encourage your child to draw different pictures on each page.  Have your child dictate their thoughts about the picture and encourage your child to write as much as they can under each illustration.  Remember that a picture book that has no words is still a book in which ideas and a story can be expressed.


  • Various Colors of Paper
  • Markers
  • Scissors
  • Glue

Age-appropriate Adaptations:

  • Two-year-olds—Provide your young child with a blank book that has been constructed, having them complete the book to their skill set, given their fine-motor and literacy capabilities.  Focus on only one type of construction at a time.
  • Three-year-olds—Encourage your child to select which style of book they would like to make first.  Encourage your child to label the characters in their story.  For example, if they draw a cat, have them write the word cat on the bottom of the page.  Provide help as needed.
  • Four-/Five-year-olds—Challenge your child to devise their own themes and shapes relevant to the content of the story they have written.

Skills Supported:

  • Language: Put their thoughts on paper, first through simple pictures and then incorporating print into their drawings.
  • Fine motor skills: With use of the markers and the scissors.
  • Cognitive: Critical thinking; construction of the story.
  • Aesthetic: Appreciation and enjoyment of the arts.