Some kids are assigned to make book covers during the first week of class. Even if your kid isn’t assigned to make book covers, making them might be a fun activity. It will also help to preserve the book.
You can make a book cover with any type of paper. Some ideas for paper include paper bags from the grocery store, gift-wrapping paper, butcher paper, or aluminum foil. You want the paper to be sturdy enough to handle going into and out of backpacks but not so thick that it won’t stay taped to the inside of the book.
Once you have chosen your paper, you should cut it out a couple of inches bigger than the book. You can wrap the book with the paper and mark off a couple of inches all the way around. Cut the paper where you marked it.
Before starting the art work, make sure the paper fits around the book by folding it around the book cover. Mark where the paper will fold around and then center all decorations in the marked off area.
Find decorations. Basically, anything goes with decorating the book. Some kids will paint or draw on their book covers. Very colorful book covers can be created with a set of magic markers by a kid who likes to draw. Young artists may also want to try to replicate the artwork on the cover of the book.
Besides drawing on the cover, your kid can paste pictures onto it. If you have a color printer, any imaginable picture can be printed off the Internet. Kids might also like to cut pictures out of old magazines or take them from old calendars.
If your child has a pet, one fun idea is to put a picture of the pet on the book cover. They could also put family pictures or vacation pictures. Anything that you can print can become a book cover.
Think of the book cover as a scrapbook page. You can make it look any way you want, but you want it to have a theme. The theme can be, “a little bit of everything”. With “a little bit of everything”, your kid can make a collage. Include things like pictures, cut out objects, glue on sequins and feathers, and comic strips. Similarly, you could make a “sports” theme, and have them cut out a player from every possible sport from old sports magazines.
Whatever design your kid chooses, make sure they center the art where the paper will sit on the book. When it’s ready, tape the paper to the book. Wrap the closed book and tape the overlap to the inside cover of the book. Then tape on the other side, making sure that it’s loose enough that the book can open and shut. Taping down the sides will make the cover more secure on the book.
Have your kid plan out a design before starting, and let him choose the materials from the paper on up. Besides being a fun activity and good for the books, this can be a learning opportunity.
Planning and designing are two skills that are not usually explicitly taught, however they are important skills that don’t necessarily come naturally to children. Get you child to describe what she wants her book cover to look like before you even start.
If your kid changes directions in the middle, that’s okay. Let them be creative while they are designing their book cover. It’s only going to make the activity more fun. You want your child to feel proud of his book cover. When dealing with school issues, this little expression of individuality can really help a child’s self-esteem.