We made our own mini books and it turned out to be a great craft for both early literacy and math measurement skills, not to mention they are fun for play! If you follow me on Instagram, you might have noticed that we recently got into dolls and making stuff for them. It all started when we started shopping for a dollhouse, but couldn’t find what we wanted. Then we jumped down a YouTube rabbit hole. We’ve done a few little projects and I’m hoping to share more. Let’s start with this easy idea!
I think I saw this technique for making doll books on My Froggy Stuff first. I thought it would be interesting to do with my kids so that they could actually personalize them.
We used tiny stickers to help create the pictures. The kids talked about what kind of book they were making. Even though R’s books didn’t have words, she still made up a story to go along with the stickers she put inside. Z opted for nonfiction books and he carefully wrote on the pages to label each one.
How to Make Your Own Mini Books
I’m not great at tutorials but I gave this one a try. Feel free, of course, to do things your own way!
We used a heavier weight paper so our books are a little stiff, but they are also more sturdy and have so far held up to lots of page turning–especially by baby M.
- Gather your paper and supplies. You’ll need scissors, a pencil, ruler, glue, stickers, and thin markers.
- Cut your white paper into long, thin strips. Ours were 1″ x 12″ approximately. Line up the strip with a ruler and mark off each inch.
- Accordion-fold the strip at each inch mark.
- Stretch it out and create your pages. Only one side of the strip will show and you can leave the first and last page blank.
- Re-fold the paper strip and staple.
- Trim paper for the book’s cover. Since the pages are about one inch, your cover should be about two inches. Allow a fourth to a half an inch extra.
- Fold the cover to create a spine.
- Glue the first and last page and spine to the inside of the cover. Allow to dry.
- Decorate your covers and enjoy!
You can use this same technique with a variety of sizes. I chose an inch because I want to reinforce the concept of an inch to the kids. After teaching mid and upper elementary for several years, I firmly believe that kids must have plenty of experience working with measurement in real contexts. Building and crafting projects are a great way to provide a natural setting for kids to practice their skills.
While creating our mini books, we talked a lot about the different parts of a book (cover, spine, binding, etc). We told stories and after the books were finished, the dolls began to ‘read’ their own stories. We also contrasted fiction storybooks with the nonfiction kinds of books that we made. This is all building literacy skills in a meaningful, organic way.
We really enjoyed making these little books. I think we will try them out again but with a larger scale. I’ve been trying to encourage storytelling, but I know it can be overwhelming with all that blank paper staring back at you. Maybe that’s why the limited space works so well. That and the cuteness. Why is miniature stuff so appealing?
What do you think? Would your kids like mini books?