Each page has a picture of an animal with matching text - "Here is a _____". The pages are A4 size and laminated so the pages are easy for little hands to turn and the pictures are big and are easily wiped clean!
Simple books with repetitive text are prefect for young children. And the animals provide a great opportunity for the kids to hear a range of different sounds as you cluck, oo-oo-oo, woof, snap (as appropriate!) on each page.
The thing I love about this idea is that it can be tailored to suit individual kids. If you know a child who loves things that move, you can make a book with cars, boats, planes, etc.
There are grand plans for lots of homemade books, such as "Our Special People', with photos of our family and friends.... Here is Nanny, etc, and books that have photos of the kids, such as "At the Park". As the kids get older, we'll make books of their drawings, and books illustrated by them. Check out some examples of books that JL from The Toby Show made here and here.
To be truthful, there are some days where this book is brought to me by a wobbling-walking child or two and I think "not again!", but I actually feel pretty pleased that they love something I made for them so much.
Here's how to make one:
I found the pictures by typing coloring page dog in Google (just change the animal name for each animal you want). There are lots of colouring pages that are free to download for personal use.
In Microsft Word, type the text at the bottom of the page and print it on 100gsm white paper (a bit heavier than normal copy paper). Then print the picture of the animal onto coloured paper. Cut the animal out and paste it onto the white paper.
Design and print a cover page. I used a piece of coloured paper and also put a piece of blank coloured paper as the back cover. Laminate the pages back to front, like this:
Once you have laminated and collated all your pages, it just needs to be bound. I did this at Officeworks for about $4.50. Wire or coil binding will keep the book together better than comb binding so it is worth the extra $$.
And that's it!
If you do make one, I'd love to hear about it.