Make Your Own Sketchbook Activity

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Updated on Jun 27, 2013

Young children love to draw, but store bought sketchbooks can be expensive. Get creative and help your child make her own unique sketchbook to fill with colorful drawings, fanciful pictures, and dazzling doodles.

This simplified book-making activity will help your child increase her fine motor skills, learn about the conventions of English print, and inspire artistic development. Choose recycled materials like old cereal boxes and scratch paper to add in a great environmental awareness lesson!

What You Need:

  • Two pieces of sturdy paper or cardboard
  • Hole punch
  • Pipe cleaners
  • Paper
  • Markers or crayons

What You Do:

  1. Punch holes in the sturdy paper/cardboard, one near the top and one near the bottom. Align all the holes for each piece of paper; these will be used when sewing the book together.
  2. Choose a few pieces of thin paper (e.g. printer paper), and align them with the hole punches through the front and back covers. Have your child use a crayon or marker to mark where the holes are.
  3. Ask your child to help you to punch the holes in the thin pieces of paper one at a time.
  4. Let your child sew the book together using the pipe cleaners. Accomplish this by threading the pipe cleaners through the aligned holes, then twisting together.
  5. Get ready to sketch!

Making a sketchbook is a great activity for preschoolers. Not only will they learn about book-making, but the finished product will encourage the budding artist to observe and sketch from everyday life. As your child grows as an artist, allow the sketchbook to grow too. Simply untwist the pipe cleaners and add in extra pages for extra drawing fun.

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.

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