Help your child grow more confident with letters and numbers! Early literacy and counting skills are crucial to a young learners' development. This simple, yet fun, bookmaking activity introduces and reinforces alphabet and number recognition skills that have been taught at home or learned in preschool.
You can tailor this activity to your child's specific needs and learning level. Start with a few letters or numbers, and then add on as your child becomes more confident. As the school year progresses, synchronize the pages you add with the letters and numbers your child is learning in class. Instant home practice for the young reader!
What You Do:
- Select a size for the book (for example, 8’ X 10”). Cut the cardboard and construction paper to match. Try reusing an old box for the cardboard. Cereal, cracker, or packing boxes work well.
- Organize the paper for the book. One piece of cardboard should be the cover; the other piece of cardboard will be the back. The construction paper sheets will be the book's pages. Choose as many as your child feels comfortable with to start.
- Punch two holes on the left side of each piece of cardboard and construction paper. Place one close to the top, and the other near the bottom.
- Have your child “sew” the book together by threading the pipe cleaners through the holes.
- Secure the pipe cleaners by asking your child to twist each one individually. Make sure that the pipe cleaners are not twisted too tightly. This will make it difficult to open and close the book.
- Have your child draw a creative letter-based cover. For example, ask her to choose a favorite letter, and then draw an animal that begins with that letter. Help your child to write her name on the cover.
- Flip the book over to the back cover. This will be the numbers side. Have your child decorate this cardboard cover with a number theme.
- The book is now ready to be filled. Start with ‘A’ on one side, and ‘1’ on the other. Your child can decorate each page by printing the letter or number and then drawing an accompanying picture. ‘A’ may be for apple, ‘1’ may have one smiley face drawn on it. Try to keep one page blank in the middle as a divider.
The ABC, 123 book making activity can be extended throughout the school year. Simply untwist the pipe cleaners and add more pages!
Erica Loop has a MS in Applied Developmental Psychology from the University of Pittsburgh's School of Education. She has many years of teaching experience working in early childhood education, and as an arts educator at the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh.