Prep: 30-45 Minutes / Activity Time: 5 Minutes

Nothing is more personal to a toddler than her name and picture. Take advantage of this interest by creating a personalized storybook of your toddler’s day. As you point out your toddler’s name and track under the words when you read the story, you will be helping her develop print awareness. Print awareness relates to understanding that print and pictures are processed differently. We look at pictures. We read words. When we read words, our eyes must be trained to start in a specific location and move from left to right. Understanding these concepts of print is necessary for development of future pre-reading skills like letter knowledge.

  • camera
  • cardstock, construction paper or cardboard for the cover (9”x12”)
  • paper for the pages
  • markers or computer/printer for typed words
  • glue (if using developed photos)
  • clear contact paper or laminate
  • hole punch
  • yarn or rings


Step 1: Take photos of your toddler as she goes through the routines of her day, such as waking up from bed, brushing her teeth, eating, playing, running and taking a nap.

Step 2: You can either develop the photos at a local store, or place the digital photos in a Word document to print from home.

Step 3: Create a front cover for your book, using cardstock, cardboard, or construction paper. Include your child’s first name in the title. For example, “Angie's Day in Motion.” Place a photo of your child on the book cover.

Step 4: On the following pages with the photos, print or type a simple text that describes your toddler’s actions. Be consistent in the way you word the text, keeping it simple and repetitive. Start with your toddler’s name and then a brief description of the action. For example, Angie is waking up. Angie is brushing her teeth. Angie is eating. If desired, laminate the pages or cover with clear contact paper to make the book more durable.

Step 5: Punch holes on the left side of each page and organize the pages into a book. Use yarn or rings to secure the book.

Reading the Book

Step 1: Sit down with your toddler in your lap or next to you. Point to the photo on the cover and ask her, “Who’s this?” Then read the title of the book as you track with your fingers under the words, moving from left to right. You might even point to the photo and say, “This is a picture of you.” Point to her name and say, “These letters say your name”. Touch each letter as you say the letter name: “A-n-g-i-e. They say Angie!”

Step 2: Read the pages in the book. You might ask your toddler to say what she is doing in the pictures and then expand upon what your child says. For example, if your toddler says “teeth,” you might expand by saying, “That’s right. You brush your teeth to keep them clean and white. You use a toothbrush. Point to the toothbrush.”

Step 3: Place the book in a convenient place for your child to read on her own.