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April 12, 2010

My First Books

Kate Hart
Little-known fact: I've already published a few books.

Okay, "published" is an overstatement, since it required a box knife and packing tape. But I have made several books, and since this writing blog strays into the occasional craftiness, it seemed like a good topic.

Both my boys learned the alphabet scary early. My oldest was obsessed with a set of Eric Carle flashcards, but once he learned the letters, he needed more of a challenge. So my husband and I broke out the craft supplies and put together several easy, self-correcting sight word books.

First we compiled a list of 3, 4, and 5-letter sight words. We stuck with nouns, to make finding clip art easier. I printed the pictures and words on cardstock and cut them apart, then used packing tape to make each word into a covering flap for each picture. They aren't the prettiest things ever, but we made these books two years ago and they're still hanging in there.

I won't offer you advice on dimensions, since you can see from the picture that mine weren't exactly right, math being my strong suit and all (ha). But we made do-- I hole-punched each card and put them in a binder that we cut down to size.

Why not staple them together? Because I wanted to be able to change the order of the cards. That way I'd know if the boys recognized the words themselves instead of remembering their order.

Using the same logic, I also made this family "book" for the boys. The cards are attached to a carabiner. Both books make great distractions for the car, waiting rooms, etc. We've used hole reinforcers for repairs several times.

When my oldest turned two, I made him a more extensive family book. There are lots of photo book sites out there, but I like Shutterfly because their backgrounds are the cutest. There are a range of options-- hard or soft cover, rectangle or square, costing anywhere from $20-$50. This cheapy option hasn't held up very well, forcing us to break out the packing tape again.

Although it may just be falling apart from so much use. The boys love their family books. Each page explains family relationships (i.e. "Nana and Gramps are Mommy's parents"). The boys "know" all their extended family, no matter how rarely we see them.

Thanks for tolerating a "former preschool teacher/current mommy" post. Back to writing and silliness tomorrow!


  1. Great post, Kate!
    This is a fantastic idea, too.

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  3. That is so adorable, and clever! For Mac users, iPhoto also has a feature where you can make a picture book also, though definitely not as cute.

  4. oh. this. is. just. too. darned. CUTEEEEEE!!!

    i love it.
    LOVE IT.


  5. Fun stuff, Kate! I'm going to pass this on to my brother and his family (he's always looking for fun stuff to do with his girls).

    Although, if you had an iPad I think they'd actually be able to feed the cow and the grandparents would inhabit the photos Harry Potter-style. That thing does it ALL! :)

  6. KAte! We have sooo much in common. Love what you shared! I've done some similar things. I'm a teacher at heart. :) (and going to be a paid one eventually...)

  7. That is very cute. A true example of good parenting. Lol your kids are lucky they have such a great mum

  8. Glad you guys liked it. It's one of the few times my Martha Stewart tendencies have worked out for good instead of evil. :)


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