Have you ever felt like there was something missing from your homeschool routine? Maybe your lessons are beginning to seem lackluster and monotonous. Perhaps the lessons are going well, but you’d love to find a unique way to document your children’s learning. Or possibly you’re just looking for a way to shake things up a bit.
If you can identify with any of these sentiments, have you ever tried lapbooking?
I remember the first time I heard the word “lapbooking,” I thought to myself, What in the world is that? The name may sound a little vague, but the concept is very straightforward.
I’m going to give you the steps to creating a very basic lapbook. Yes, basic. Remember that I keep it simple? That motto holds true for this activity, too.
Lapbooking for Beginners
-Decide which topic you’d like the lapbook to be about.
Generally speaking, most people choose one topic to cover. We’ve done lapbooks on egg-laying animals, moths and butterflies, U.S. Presidents, money, and Five in a Row books, among others. It’s entirely up to you.
-Gather any work your children have done that you would like to include in the lapbook.
My children each have folders for any loose papers, and I simply place all of the potential lapbook components in the left pocket of the folder. Although many people use printables specifically designed for lapbooks, in the hopes of saving money on ink, (since I already have to print out 30 notebooking pages a week) we only use handmade items for ours. I’ll admit that the lapbooking printables do make beautiful and neat-looking products, but I’m a bit sentimental about seeing something done with my child’s own abilities- flaws and all. If you’re drawn to the neater side of things, Pinterest has tons of free lapbooks available.
Keep in mind that you can use so many different things. Some of our lapbooks have had mini-books, vocabulary cards, word scrambles, trivia questions, paper dolls, craft stick puppets inside of pockets, and photos of my kids hard at work. Use your imagination!
-Take a file folder and fold both sides inward to the center.
-Have your child decide where each item will go before gluing them in place.
This is a biggie. You have no idea how many times my kids have changed their minds on where they wanted something AFTER it was glued down. If you run out of room, you can simply use card stock to add another section.
-After you know where everything is going, glue everything down, and you’re finished!
I recommend using either a glue stick or scotch tape to secure everything instead of glue. I’ve found that using glue makes the papers lumpy, and they take forever to dry.
Before I go, there are two things I want to add:
#1- Lapbooking can be a bit difficult to do with small children or those who do not have good fine motor skills just yet. Most of the photos here today are lapbooks my littles have done, and while they do enjoy doing them, I am the one who does the bulk of the assembling, which can be difficult when I’m helping 3-4 children at a time. If you are okay with that, have at it! Otherwise, I’d wait just a little longer. 🙂
#2- There are some amazingly wonderful YouTube tutorials on how to create those beautiful, breathtaking lapbooks that I just don’t have the time, ink, or patience to do. 😉 However, I do love watching them, and here is one of my favorites. Tina Robertson also has some amazing videos about lapbooking, as well. Seriously. Tina’s lapbooks put mine to shame.
So there you have it. You may soon find yourself looking for fresh ideas for your homeschool, so give lapbooking a try. Believe me, if I can do it, anyone can!
Do you use lapbooking in your homeschool?