Homemade Books by Babies

This week, my gorgeous little niece Elsie celebrated her first birthday! Even though I had already bought her a gift, my girls were keen to give her something themselves and Sábha even went so far as to choose one of her own soft toys to pass on to her little cousin (aww). They decided they wanted to make some 'butterfly decorations' for Elsie's room as a gift for her. They said they needed paint and paper and a little bit of help, so we got to work.

It was all going well for the first two minutes. We were all set up to make a ton of butterflies by folding a crease in some paper, splodging some paint on, re-folding and smooshing it all together then re-opening to reveal a lovely, smooshy, colourful butterfly

.... but the thing with three year-olds is, that they are EXTREMELY easily distracted, so after creating just one butterfly Sábha decided she wanted to paint a bumblebee and then a frog and then an ant and Lile just started painting ladybirds over and over again, because she loves ladybirds more than anything - ever (in fact there's a whole post I could write on that subject).

So after their, relatively short, attention span for painting ran out I was left with a pile of painted 'creatures' and no directions on how they envisioned them being turned into 'decorations'.

Also, as a side note, this was all happening less than two hours before the party, and the girls weren't even dressed... so I had to think fast.

I thought about snipping them all out and adding string to make bunting, but the paintings were all different sizes and some were quite small and wouldn't have worked at all.

Then I remembered the large sheet of white card I had that was left over from cutting out bunny ears from the bunny birthday party. I briefly considered making a poster, but then decided to fold it and cut it and make a simple book instead.

I gathered all the creatures together and made a 'Colour Book' for Elsie, so that "she can learn her colours and someday be a big girl" like my big girls.
(Lile drew a picture of Elsie to add to the cover - it's tiny, "because Elsie is a tiny baby")

It was really easy (in fairness, it's quite a short book!). I just stitched up the middle of the pages with embroidery thread and tied it off at the ends to make sure it stayed together and then stuck on the cut-out paintings, adding simple text with toddler-destroyed paintbrushes.

It was a race against time and the paint was still a bit wet when we presented it, but I loved it and the girls were very proud and now I want to make a ton of books for everybody in my girls' lives!

In fact, it could make a really cute Father's Day gift. Get your child to draw pictures of their Dad's favourite things (in our case maybe guitars, records, biscuits and tea) or maybe the things they love about him or the things they think he's great at - make a simple book and stick them in! Surely no Dad would be disappointed with that? Kids' drawings are really cute - especially when they're YOUR kid's drawings.

If I had had more time, I probably would have got all fancy and printed out the text and made it of sturdier card (that might have a chance of withstanding baby drool/grabby hands), or laminated it somehow?, but it is what it is and hopefully Elsie will enjoy it! Happy Birthday little one!


A penny for your thoughts?