Monday, October 22, 2012

Let's Make Bookmarks with Kids!

Let's Make Bookmarks with Kids! 
by Susan Stephenson,

I really like the way making bookmarks is something that links kids who enjoy crafts to reading and children's literature. I talked about this before in Link Reading and Craft with Bookmarks, where I gave several examples of bookmark projects. Making bookmarks is a fun activity to use in the library, perhaps as a practical break during a read-a-thon, at home, or in the classroom. Today I'd like to share some more resources and ideas for making bookmarks.

One great way to have kids focus on literature and personalise bookmarks is to have them think about and share favourite books and characters. This can lead to all sorts of informal book promotion, a fine thing in any home, library or classroom! To create a quick bookmark, kids can simply decorate a folded piece of paper with drawn scenes or characters from a book. If you have a laminator, it finishes the bookmark nicely and makes it more durable. Clear Contact also works but is fiddlier. Adding bling in the form of a tassel, googly eyes or stickers is usually popular with kids.

A themed bookmark is another activity that works well with groups of kids. With preparation, a bookmark station can be set up with a parent supervisor in charge. Think about this one if you're focusing on pirates or special holidays. Having markers, hole punches, pencils, paper and fabric scraps, ribbon, wool, glue, scissors etc set out will encourage kids to create, or you might give some guidance in the form of prepared sample bookmarks or templates.

If you have the Plasq software, Comic Life 2, you can download a bookmark template via this article on the Comic Life blog. I love the educational potential of the Comic Life products and thoroughly recommend them.

If you're looking for bookmarks that are not simple flat paper rectangles, something a little different from the usual, here are some crafty ideas:

In a hurry? Try tying ribbon around paperclips. Multiple thin ties look good, as you will see in this Etsy shop. Or teach kids to plait and have them tie their woollen plait through the paperclip. I made very simple ones with giant paper clips and ribbon scraps.

Have kids decorate an envelope corner, and make it into a bookmark related to your theme. If you have time, check out the tutorial at Tally's Treasury for page corner bookmarks. Again I went for simple. I snipped off the corner of an envelope and decorated it with paper scraps. (Actually, the Mk2 version is pictured. Mk1 somehow glued itself shut!)

There are lots more crafty bookmark projects for kids at Artists Helping Children. Any of these would make great gifts that kids can make for parents.

I mentioned DLTK custom bookmarks in my Book Week 2012 post. Another great solution for when you don't have much time.

Find more articles about all sorts of creative activities to do with kids by clicking "Creating" in the right sidebar of The Book Chook blog.

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