How to Make a Fact Book With Children

By Amanda Larson
Make memories by making a fact book with your child.

Making a fact book with children is a fun and creative process that will teach your child interesting information and research and writing skills. It also provides a great opportunity for the two of you to work together and build lasting memories

Gather your thoughts. Behind every great project is a great idea. Children have such wonderful imaginations that you may find the biggest challenge is deciding on just one idea. Brainstorming is one of the most exciting and stimulating parts of any writing project. By using visual cues, such as writing with colorful markers, drawing graphics and pictures, and looking through magazines and photos, let your child come up with a topic he'd like to write about.

By collecting data, your child may find new interests.

Research the idea. Depending on the topic your child has chosen, set a day or weekend aside to conduct your research. You can do this by interviewing family or friends, going to a museum, taking a nature walk or by simply going online. Whatever research method you choose, be sure to collect pictures or artwork along the way. This may be a good time to let your child try her hand at photography or drawing.

Collect your supplies. Create a clean and roomy workspace for your budding author and encourage him to organize his tools and artwork. There are many types of book bindings that are simple to create. One of the easiest, and most practical is to use many different colors of scrapbooking paper. Punch holes along one side and bind the paper together with yarn.

Build the text. Using a plain white piece of paper, talk your child through the development of an introduction, body and conclusion of the book. Encourage your child to use proper grammar, and begin each paragraph with a topic sentence. This is an excellent time to sneak an English lesson into the fun. Encourage the use of lots of adjectives, or descriptive words. For example, instead of writing about "a plant," write about "a tall green plant with narrow leaves." The more detail, the better.

Lay out the book. Using the largest artwork first, lay out one good sized picture per page. Keep the story your child has written in mind so that you can coordinate the photos with the text. Never glue until you have finalized your selection. Once the largest artwork is placed, have your child neatly add two to three sentences per page from their rough draft until the story is complete.

Once the text and largest artwork is in place, use stickers, cutouts, buttons or other materials to decorate the pages. Remember to let your child do the work. The more effort he puts into it, the more pride he will have in the book.

Once the book is completed, have your child present it to friends and family, or encourage her to take it to show and tell at school. The two of you will have created more than just a fun keepsake; you will have also made memories that you can share for a lifetime.

Tip

You may want to start a "creativity box" for scraps from other projects for projects such as this to encourage innovation and recycling. Save fabric, buttons, paper and more to use over again. This project can be adapted for both older and younger children. Older children can learn research and writing skills, as well as the fun and importance of working together to complete an activity, while younger children can develop their cognitive skills. Try making a fact book together as a family. Give each person specific tasks and make it a memorable group project.

Warning

Always supervise young children around scissors or cutters.

About the Author

Based in Phoenix, Amanda Larson has been a professional writer since 1998. Her articles have appeared in magazines such as “Woman’s World,” "National Fire and Rescue“ and The Salvation Army's "Caring." Larson received nine journalism awards from the Arizona Newspaper Association from 2001 to 2004, and was publisher for Gentle Path Press. She attended Iowa State University majoring in pre-medicine.