The Usborne touchy-Feely books are great first books for babies. They have simple text and graphics, are repetitive, have textures to feel, and easy to interact with beyond just reading (for example, we sometimes look for the “mousy friend” on each page).
Recently, I got them out of storage to have brothers share with #3. This gave me the idea of trying to do another “big brother” project and have my 4.5-year-old make one for the baby. (Note we will be very careful when reading it to Peanut and not let it anywhere near his 6 month old mouth).
To prepare, you will need to pick a topic and print some clip art. We chose dinosaurs, so I did a google search for “dinosaur clip art.” I chose simpler designs with very clean lines. I used my <sarcasm> mad graphic design skills <\sarcasm> to copy and paste the images from the browser to PowerPoint and resize them.
If your child is old enough to do this step with you or by herself, take an extra minute to copy and paste the URL of the clip art. On many of the clip art sites, it will be embedded in the image, which is even easier. Have a quick discussion about fair use/intellectual property. I’m being serious here. This has been a thorn in my side since teaching Middle School in East Oakland. Kids need to know this.
You’ll also need to gather random materials from around the house, e.g. a sponge, shelf liner, foam, sand paper, aluminum foil, wrapping paper, ribbon, cotton balls, etc. Gather more items than you will need so your child can make her own choices about which materials to use.
- Printed Clip art
- Random Materials with different textures
- Stapler or ribbon and hole punch for binding
Before you begin, help your child plan which textures will go with different pictures. Depending on your child’s age, you may need to help her with some of the steps.
For the first page:
- Cut out the area where the texture will be, e.g. the tail.
- Trim the material if needed to match the size of the area.
- Tape the textured material to the back of the page so the right side peeks through.
- On the front side, glue the edges, if needed. This may not be necessary.
- Color the image.
- Write the text to accompany the picture, e.g. “That’s not my dinosaur, its tail is too rough!”
Repeat the steps for the other pages. Bind the book by stapling or punch holes and tie ribbon.