Codex Book

What You Need:

  • Small box with a lid
  • Roll of paper
  • Ruler
  • Pencil
  • Scissors
  • Glue or tape
  • Crayons or markers

What You Do:

  1. Talk about the history of the codex with your child. The Maya people first made these folded books almost a century ago. Help your child brainstorm ideas for his own codex. What kind of story is he interested in telling? It can be a fictional story or even just a short tale about something that happened to him that day.
  2. Lay the box flat on a table. Get out your roll of paper and begin unrolling. Place the edge of the paper into the box. You most likely will need scissors to cut the paper down to size. Ony trim the top, cutting a horizontal line across the paper.
  3. Now your son can start folding the paper into the accordion-style pages the codex is famous for. The important thing to remember is that the folds need to alternate in direction. The first fold should bend the paper away from your child, the second toward your child, etc. It may be difficult to explain, so demonstrate the first couple of folds for your child before letting him do the rest.
  4. Let him continue to make accordion folds until he reaches the end of the roll of paper. (If the roll of paper is too long, you always have the option of cutting it yourself.) Make sure every fold is the same distance apart -- the pages need to be equally sized.
  5. Time to create the story! Give your child the option of writing or drawing his story on his new codex pages. Help him plot out his story beginning, middle and end to match the number of pages he has to work with.
  6. Once he's done, all he needs to do is place his codex book in the codex box! Encourage your child to decorate the lid of the box with an illustration that will match his story.

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