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Homemade Books

Work together to make simple, blank books. Bind a small stack of folded printer paper or construction paper with staples or use a hole punch and yarn to secure the pages together. You can provide drawing tools and stickers or stamps. Children can draw and then dictate stories for you to write, or they can work on writing key words.

Supporting children who are interested in writing: Maybe they’re currently writing letter-like forms or linear scribbles – celebrate this milestone! Maybe they’re already working to sound out words. “Invented spelling” is appropriate at this age. Help them to isolate and identify the key sounds in a word and don’t worry if they skip some letters. “Balloon” might look like “BULN” or “rock” might look like “RK”. Spelling is not the focus at this stage. What’s important is they are isolating and hearing sounds and recognizing that a symbol/letter represents the sound. For tricky digraphs such as “ch” or “th”, I tell most children these are combinations that make new sounds and they’ll learn them a little later. (I like for them to know exceptions will come, but first we’re learning the rules of individual letters.) Offer to write “Written and illustrated by” on the cover and then encourage them to write their name (this might mean writing it correctly, partially correct, or could even be simple marks they intend to be their name – all are valuable steps in emergent writing!)