Lapbooks are quickly becoming one of the most interesting and fun ways for children to learn and for parents to help them. There are several different ways to make a lapbook and so many things you can include that children love the idea of having their hands in something they have taken time to create and are proud of. For parents however, finding a unit for your lapbook and what to include can sometimes be overwhelming, especially with so much curriculum to cover and so many things they want to learn. It’s really not has hard as it seems though. With some helpful tips and suggestions you will be well on your way to making a great lapbook with lots to put inside of it.
Step #1: Start Out Simple
If this is the first time you are attempting to make a lapbook then you might want to first start with trying some mini books. These are a great addition to any lapbook, but will also give you some good practice on making some books with your child. There are some really simple mini books you and your child can practice making before you actually make a bigger lapbook. Make sure to keep them while you do your studies though so that you can include them in your lapbook.
Step #2: Brainstorm
You can either brainstorm some ideas on your own or you can do it together with your child. Finding topics that interest your child should be first and foremost on your list as this is who is going to be studying and learning. If you pick a topic that they’re not interested in the entire process will crumble and be a lot more work than you want it to be. Brainstorming with your child gives you a good idea of what it is they are interested in. As you brainstorm ideas make sure you write down everything; I really mean everything. You can go back and edit or take some of them out later.
Step #3: Choose a Theme or Topic
Once you have all your ideas on paper you want to narrow them down. If you have brainstormed ideas with your child you know that everything on the paper they are interested in. Now you just have to limit yourself to some specific ones. If you’re trying to plan for an entire year then you might want to pick one or two topics a month for older children. For younger children (preschool thru kindergarten) you might want to pick a different theme for each week. Keep in mind that you don’t have to make a lapbook for every topic you cover. That would be very overwhelming and almost impossible.
Step #4: Teaching
Now for the easy part. Now that you have your topics laid out for the year or however long you want to teach, you can begin the lesson planning. Planning lessons with hands on activities, making mini books about interesting facts, going on field trips, taking pictures and finding pictures. Keep track of the facts and information that your child finds particularly interesting as this will help them recall more information.
Step #5: Making a Lapbook
Now that you have everything you need let’s create. But what do you put in the lapbook? Anything you want, really. Everything you have kept during the study part of your topic; pictures, clip art, letters, and anything else you think will help your child remember what they have learned and find interesting. It’s also fun for them if you can include some of those mini books that they made and some fun games. The lapbook is really a culmination of everything they have done and they can personalize it however they want. That’s the best part about it.
Hopefully these steps in finding a unit for your lapbook and what to include will help you get started on your way to making your first and definitely not your last lapbook.