Baby-Made Books

Duration: any

Age: toddler, child, parent

Skill for Bub: Hand/eye coordination, Just for fun, Making memories, Mind builder


Cutting pictures out of magazines and creating homemade books is a fun way to encourage an early love of reading.

The U.S. Department of Education recommends that parents read to their children at least 20 minutes a day. When a child begins reading – and being read to – at an early age, an interest in reading becomes routine in their lives. Making books together by cutting and pasting magazine pictures is a fun way to encourage an interest in reading and spark creativity.

  • Help your child cut and paste the pictures into a blank book or a notebook. Allow him to get creative with what pictures he selects for his unique book. Be sure that you label each object in the book. Take this book out at night and let your child make up different stories using the photos in the book. The story can change every time!
  • Another fun project is having your child dictate a simple story to you. Write the main words on the page for him (dog, mom, ball, etc.), then have him “illustrate” the page. This may be just simple lines or scribbles at first, but you will enjoy watching as your child tries to create a book that’s all his own.
  • Create a Story Jar. Similar to the Word Jar activity during pregnancy, this word jar contains words that are familiar to your child and can spur a story. Simply pull out a word from the jar and ask your child to tell you a story about it. Some examples of words to put in the jar include: bear, kitty, farm, zoo, apple tree, fire truck, school, park, doctor.
  • Create Story Cards. Draw or paste pictures onto index cards and then pull them out every now and then and ask your child to describe what is happening in the picture. You can keep these cards in your purse or diaper bag so you always have something to do wherever you go!
For more book fun, see Story Tellers.