Learning and playing are two things that can so easily happen together, in your everyday life, just by taking advantage of the things around you. An ABC scrapbook – whether elaborate or basic– incorporates many learning skills, including reading, letters, writing, drawing, photography, science, and social studies.
There are several types of ABC Books, and each offers a different opportunity for kids to learn and express their creativity. From scrapbooks to photobooks to research topics, they’re a great learning activity for preschoolers through middle school-aged kids.
Purchase, or create, a 26-page book and label each page with a letter. I suggest getting an expandable scrapbook cover and adding 13 pages inside. This scrapbook cover is currently less than $5 at Amazon. Next, go through magazines, pictures, and mementos adding ideas that start with each letter to a page. Many people theme ABC Books, common themes include:
- ABCs of Me where each letter applies to things about the person
- ABCs in Washington DC, the Zoo, on a field trip, where the goal is to find something with each letter along the way on your trip
- ABCs of any topic makes a great sharing activity for a school project.
- ABC letters or words are a great way to practice reading and writing. On each page list, every word your child knows, or just practice writing letters.
Because scrapbooks are generally crafty, this is a great opportunity to pull out your old scrapbook paper and toys and get scrapping with your kids.
If you have a budding photographer, he’ll love this activity. Challenge him to take pictures of something starting with every letter of the alphabet (use themes as kids get older) and then edit them into an ABC Photobook to be published. These books can be items that start with the letter (like a picture of ballet shoes on the B page) or pictures of letters as found in your child’s surroundings. Here’s an example of an ABC Photo Book we created with Alpha-Bits Cereal a few years ago.
ABC Research Books
As mentioned above, as children get older, they can research topics and create ABC books about their topics. For example, an ABC book of the Presidents might have Washington on the W page and Obama on the O page. The Q page, the creator can list famous quotes of presidents.
ABC Poetry Books
Is your child a writer? Then encourage her to create a poem based on the ABCs or a poem for each letter in the alphabet. Whether each of the 26 pages has a line of the poem or a full poem about or incorporating that letter, illustrations are always great with poems.
ABC Scavenger Hunt books
Going on a trip or even a walk? Then use your watcher’s eye and spy things for your book. When you see something, note it on the right page: If you’re at a park, what else will be on your T page besides a tree? Did you see a turtle? A child tying her shoe?
If your child is an artist, he’ll love this book. Grab a sketchbook at a local craft store and help label each page with a letter. When he’s inspired, he can sketch out his interpretation of what belongs to each age. This is a great project for older and younger artists.
Rather than creating an entire book, use publishing software to create a brochure, starting each section with a different letter. ABC Brochures work well for projects that focus on specific places or topics that a child is doing for research. My six-year-old daughter’s favorite app publishing software app is Book Creator.
There are endless ABC Book possibilities—from letter practice to novel writing to research projects, encourage your kids to use their skills and begin recording.