Projects to Do With and For Children

By: Linda Reavill

Sitting and reading with a child can be one of the most rewarding activities you can ever share. Now imagine that the favorite book the child chooses is one that you have created for that child or that child has made with you. Kid' projectsare projects done for and by kid's.? These projects tend to become your child's favorite books and ones that are shared time and time again.? Grandparents can put together books that share what the grandparents are doing while they are apart from their grandchildren or use it to make a book of what they did as a child compared to what their grandchildren do as a child.? Parents can use it as a creative way to make pre-reading activities more fun.? There are as many different types of books that can be made as there are types of children.

Read through these projects and choose one of these to make for or with your favorite kid!

Children's ArtworkRefrigerator's have been decorated with children's artwork since the time they could first put crayon, pencil, or paint to paper.? This artwork can be used as a book of art or as illustrations in a story the child writes.? Artwork can be scanned and saved as a JPEG file.? This JPEG file is then treated as a picture by the photobook software.? The picture can be used as a background to a story or as a way to share the work the child has done in a published format.

The limits you have with scanning pictures is the size of the scanner or your ability to "stitch" scanned portions of the picture together.? You can also take the picture to Staples or Office Max and scan the picture there.? You can also reduce the size of the picture if you are using a copy machine.

Family Books

When I was young my grandparents lived in the same town that I did and I saw them every week.? My children did not live in the same town as their grandparents and saw them a few times a year.? A photobook can bring the grandparents into the child's life.? Grandparents can share:A picture of their house and a picture where a visiting grandchild can sleepActivities done by the grandparent such as cooking, sports, visiting friends, reading, hobbies.Pictures of the last visit together -- or a compilation of photos when they were together throughout the child's life.Favorite sayings or bits of stories and pictures that go with them.In turn, you can work with your child to put the same type of book together for their grandparent.

Pattern BooksA pattern book is a book that follows a fixed formula.? One of the finest examples is "Brown Bear, Brown Bear" by Bill Martin.? The book starts out with "Brown Bear, Brown Bear what do you see?? I see a red bird looking at me."? The next pages are "Red Bird, Red Bird what do you see?? I see a X X looking at me."? The book is an easy pattern book to duplicate in that you can substitute any animal or person to start your story as long as you include a color in the description.? This is a fun exercise to do with children and can be translated into a fun project -- first work out some ideas with your child and go on a photo safari to get the pictures.? A black or blue bird in a tree, a gray squirrel, white ducks, or any other animals that you can find in your environment and use these to make your book.

ABC or Counting BooksAn ABC or Counting Books is another good project to work on with your child.? First 'storyboard' the book by discussing what pictures you would like to get to fit each letter or what would be good to use for each number.? Make a plan to get all the pictures needed and then you can proceeed with the book.? This is a good project to do with a young child if they are making the book for themselves or with an older child and have them use it as a present for someone else.

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