Want to encourage a love of real books in your kids, outside of story time? Book-related crafts are a fun way to expand on the theme of books beyond learning to read, and can help them develop an appreciation for the structure and the design of books. Here are some fun, affordable ideas for book related craft activities:
1. New dust jackets
Trace the shape of the book or its old dust jacket onto a piece of blank paper and cut it out. Then, have them create a new dust jacket with their own illustration to match the story inside. Older children can also write their own title, author name and a synopsis to go on the back. This is an ideal activity for after they’re done reading the book.
As many thrifty crafters know, you can make bookmarks out of just about anything! From laminating pressed flowers and dried leaves, to painting and colouring in strips of card, to decorating recycled card with glitter and paint, just about anything can be turned into a bookmark. Just make sure the finished product is sturdy enough to last without getting ripped or bent too easily.
Drawing pictures for a non-fiction book or a fiction book with little or no pictures is a great way for older kids to express their imagination and creativity. Have them select a single page or a single scene (over multiple pages) and draw an illustration of it. Younger children can copy illustrations from picture books and illustrated story books.
4. Recycling crafts
Pages of old books which can no longer be read, such as those which have been severely damaged, can be recycled in lots of exciting and crafty ways. All you need to do is search Pinterest or another similar site for ‘recycled book crafts’ and you’ll see a whole range of different things you can make out of pages, from greeting cards and paper flag pennants to card holders, collages and more! One fun project for older kids is turning beat-up hardback books into secret storage boxes using glue (make sure an adult is available to supervise the cutting).
5. Making something the characters made in the book
This one may sound a little more vague, and that’s because it’s subjective, based on whatever book you’re reading together. If a main character in the book made something, or used/wore something that’s easy to make, then you can make it too! A popular example is making paper cranes like in Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes, or making fairy wands like the fairy godmother in Cinderella.