One thing I loved doing to document the daily goings on of my classroom was to make handmade books.
Why Make Handmade Books?
Inclusion, Literacy and Creativity. I loved making handmade books to document the children's daily routines. It’s important to have books that reflect the children and the families in your childcare environment. At the last school I taught at we had a very diverse demographic and although there are some fantastic books out there, I just didn't feel like my library was truly representing the children in my class.
How Do I Make Handmade Books of the Daily Hulabaloo?
So I took some pictures of our daily routines and started creating little mini books out of them. I would sometimes group activities together (like making ice cream/ taking a walk through the garden/ group painting projects) and create stories with the pictures. I laminated the pages of these books to make them sturdier and gave them a special basket all their own.
I Made Them, Now What?
I would bring the basket of handmade books out at the end of the day for the children to sit with or sometimes I would place it out in a cozy area with blankets and pillows so the children could gather and look through them on their own time. These books not only served as documentation of our projects but they gave each child representation that they belonged to the classroom environment. Seeing your own face in a book is a big deal to a child and I would often get large smiles and big, excited eyes when they would see themselves in these books for the first time.
This is a simple way to include everyone in your child care environment and bring another type of print and literacy into their lives.