Does your preschooler love to play hide-and-seek? Is he always trying to name things he doesn’t know the words for? Then this is the activity for you! Build a peek-a-boo book and give your child a vocabulary and reading boost, on the fly!
Help your child to fold 1 piece of colored construction paper into 8 sections. First fold it in half, then fold that in half once more, and then fold the remainder in half again. This should create 8 sections about the size of a 3x5 index card. Do the same thing with the other piece of construction paper. Have your child use her safety scissors to cut out the sections on the folded lines. You should have 16 pieces in all when finished (this gives you a few extras in case of mistakes!)
Let your child know that she’s going to create her own Hide-and-Seek game…inside a book. This Peek-A-Boo book will allow her to practice matching pictures with their names. She’ll “hide” each picture under an index card, with its name written on top.
Ask your child to help you make the first card by thinking of her favorite animal, then using crayons to draw a picture of it on one of the cut out pieces of construction paper. When she’s done, ask her the name of her animal, and help her write it in pencil on one of the index cards. Using a hole punch, punch two holes in the top of both the lined index card and the picture card. With your child’s help, bind them together using two pieces of yarn—the lined index card should be on top of the picture card.
Repeat this process for each of the following objects, in order to create a total of ten small Peek-a-Boo books.
Once your child gets the hang of it, you can use these materials to create multiple stories. You can also have her write longer books. Take down what she says and choose one word of each sentence to highlight in a different color. Then make that words the picture that’s “hiding”. These books are a great way to practice vocabulary and grow reading skills. And they also make a cute gift for a far-away relative!
Mary Anne Edwards has taught preschool, first, and fourth grades. She has also lead second grade reading groups.