100 Days of Play Challenge!: Library of Homemade Books

Happy Summer! Today we are participating in the 100 Days of Play Challenge hosted by Sun Scholars and Life at the Zoo! After you are done reading about our play idea, be sure to click on the button at the bottom of the post to see many other fun activities that have been shared by other bloggers as part of this challenge.

For my part, I decided to share a simple but perfect way my kids (ages 5, 3, and 2) love to keep busy on long days--making homemade books. I don't think any other activity can keep my kids engaged for such a long period of time as much as making homemade books. Below is just a sampling of some of the homemade books my kids have made.

Sometimes the kids draw their pictures first and then we bind them into books. Other times, I create the books first and give them the invitation to fill all the blank pages. I ask them to describe their drawings or tell me what words to add as captions (or if they are old enough they can add their own text). Then, these homemade books have a special shelf that they go on. Whenever Grandma and Grandpa or other guests come to visit, my kids always love to pull out these homemade books and show them off. They will "read" these books to whomever they can! It has been a great activity to keep the kids busy and happy while at the same time promoting creativity and literacy.

If you are willing to put in a little extra time, you can make a nice homemade hardcover book such as the one below with just a little bit of paper, cardboard, fabric, and hot glue. I obviously don't let my 5-year-old handle hot glue to make the cover himself, but he helps me pick out the fabric and paper and then fills the finished book with his artwork.


  • Cardboard
  • Fabric (or large piece of scrapbook paper)
  • Several sheets of plain white paper
  • Contrasting color of paper (for end paper)
  • Scissors
  • Hot glue
  • Sewing needle and thread

1. Cut and fold white paper to desired size for inside pages.
2. Measure and cut two pieces of cardboard that are each slightly larger than your inside drawing paper (folded in half)

3. Measure and cut fabric (or scrapbook paper) that is slightly larger than your two pieces of cardboard set side by side with a small gap in between them.
4. Trim the corners of the fabric to make it easier to fold.
5. Glue down the cardboard pieces to the fabric, leaving a small gap between the two pieces of cardboard.
6. Measure a contrasting color of paper around the same size as your white paper, fold it on top of the white paper to create the end paper and sew all of the inside pages together with the end paper on the bottom (outside).
7. Glue the pieces of end paper to the cardboard and fabric cover.

8. Open up your book and start filling it with words and pictures!

If time or energy is short you can still make homemade books without quite as much effort. You could omit the cardboard and fabric cover and just sew your pages together, with the contrasting color of paper as a cover. I have sewn pages together by hand or even with my sewing machine.

(done with a sewing machine)

Another simple way to make a homemade book is by punching a couple of holes and using ribbon or string to tie together the pages.

And often we simply assemble homemade books by stapling or taping pages of drawings together.

("Going to the Beach with my Dad")

However simple or elaborate you make your homemade book project, it is a fun way to play with your kids that lasts much longer than just the half hour or so you spend creating the book. These books have been part of some of my kids' favorite pretend play games as my kids have set up libraries or book stores. I also love these books because they are tender record of how my children have grown. Be sure to write the date on each book! They grow up so fast, and it is fun to have these little treasures that they have created!

Have fun creating and don't forget to click on the link below to see many more fun ways to play with your kids this summer!

100 Days of Play

Also check out the 101 ideas for things to do in the summer as written by my 12-year-old niece and the 25 summertime boredom busters that I previously shared!


1 comment:

Unknown said...

Homemade books! This is such a great activity! A perfect addition to our 100 Days of Play! Thanks so much for sharing. I have posted and linked to you!!