The printing department was going to throw out cases and cases of very nice paper that just happened to be an inch too short and had jammed up all the copiers they’d tried to use it in. It was rescued by another library employee, and we were allowed to take it and use it for whatever. I took several boxes and have just begun to think of fun things to do with it.
For my first project I stapled together six sheets of paper, at the ends, just like a book. Then I used die cuts and colored printer paper to punch out the letters A-D and two items that corresponded to those letters. C for Cat and Carrot, A for Apple and Airplane, B for Butterfly and Bear, and D for Duck and Dinosaur. It was something of a trick to guess how many to cut out and to separate them into groups and then distribute them for use.
Children filled in their name on special title pages that they could paste on, then put the letters together on the pages however they wanted. There was even a spare page for them to practice their other letters, or decorate however they wanted.
Many parents wanted their children to participate, but the children didn’t all have attention spans to sit for that long, or they needed to leave, so a number of parents took books and letters home with them. In addition to creating their own books, children were able to see how other author’s created alphabet books.
Not only was this activity fun, but it taught important skills about how books work, loving books, letter recognition, and many other pre-literacy skills. I’ll definitely be repeating this activity–though the next time I plan on using stamps and ink pads to save on prep time and to make it easier to manage the group.