Prep: 1-2 Minutes / Activity Time: 10-15 Minutes

Help your child create her own book showcasing some of her favorite things. With your help, she will be both the author and the illustrator for this book!

  • paper
  • crayons
  • pencils
  • stapler

Step 1: Staple three to four pieces of paper together on the left side to make a book.

Step 2: Tell your child that she is going to be an author and illustrator of her very own book!

Step 3: Let her choose the topic of her first book (e.g., My Favorite Foods, My Favorite Animals, My Favorite Toys).

Step 4: Print the title of the book on the front cover (e.g., My Favorite Foods). Invite your child to draw a picture on the cover that goes along with the title.

Step 5: On each of the inside pages, ask your child to draw a picture of one of her favorite foods (or whatever matches her chosen topic).

Step 6: Ask her to label the pictures. For example, if she drew a picture of a banana, see if she can figure out some of the letters that are in the word ‘banana’. She may just write the letter for the beginning sound. That’s a great start. It shows that she realizes that letters represent sounds. You may start helping her sound out some of the other sounds in the word. Remember that as children learn to form letters and develop phonological awareness, you can expect that invented spelling will appear. Conventional spelling will come later.

Step 7: Continue as long as your child is interested. Respect and appreciate where your child is in the writing process. Encourage and assist as needed so that it remains a positive and motivating experience.

Step 8: See if your child would like to read her book to another family member or friend. Applaud her accomplishment as a budding author and illustrator.

Start with just one picture instead of a book. At the top of the paper, write the sentence My Favorite ___________. Encourage your child to draw a picture. After she finishes the picture, ask her what she wants you to write about her picture. Write down the dictation as your child talks. Read it back to her. By doing this, you are modeling the process of writing and helping your child learn the value and importance of print.

See if your child can write a simple sentence instead of just the word. For example, you might encourage her to use a consistent phrase such as, I like (bananas), I like (grapes), etc.