Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Christmas Book Book

Yesterday I mentioned how I worked on a new Christmas book system for my family to use this year. I liked the surprise element of wrapping books, but I don't like to wrap. I also have a hard time doing a specific activity for 25 days straight. Some days we like to read through 3 books, and other days none at all. I also wanted to incorporate iPad book reading and listening into our Christmas book tradition. That's hard to wrap under a tree. So I came up with a Christmas Book book (I couldn't think of another name to call it at 1:00 am.)

I'm hoping that this little book will become a fun Christmas book tradition. Would you like to see how I made it and plan to use it?

4x6 photo album (one of those cheap, plastic ones at the Dollar Store work)
decorative paper
stickers or stamps

Pick coordinating scrapbook paper and trim to 4x6. I went ahead and made enough for 25 days, but with this system you can do more or less.

Number and decorate the pages and then slip into the photo album. I decided to do a green and red pattern.

The next step was probably the hardest. If you noticed in my supply picture above, my little photo album was purple flowers. That's not very Christmas-y. This particular photo album also did not have a way to slip in a new piece of paper for the cover. Since it is plastic, finding an adhesive that wouldn't peel off made covering it with paper a hassel. So what I did was carefully use an Exacto-knife to open up the top-inside cover of the album. I used a metal ruler to guide the cut along the inside seam. I would have taken a picture but I couldn't figure out how to hold the knife and shoot the camera at the same time. :) Once I did that, I was able to pull out the purple cardboard cover. I glued scrapbook paper onto that and then inserted it back into the album. I did the same for the back of the album too.

Then using my favorite photo-editing program, I created another 4x6 insert with all the Christmas book titles. I know what you're thinking--wrapping the books would have been easier. I see your point, but I'm hoping that this will last a couple of years!

Once I was done with the book inserts, I slipped them randomly behind the numbers.

So How Does This Work?
You can structure it two different ways. To act like a Christmas-countdown calendar, or to act like a Christmas book collection counter. I chose the latter for this year.

During the month of December, for our read-aloud time, one child will pick a tag from behind the number. They'll see the book cover image and go pick that book out of the book basket to read. If we want to read more than one, then the next child will pull the tag out from page number 2 etc. After we are done reading, we will put the books we read on display in the front room. Then we will write the date we read the book on the back of the book tag. If we happened to add an activity to go along with the book, we'll write that info. too. Then we will place the tag in front of the number in the Christmas book so we know where we left off.

I created a tag for some stories I want my kids to listen to from Tales to Go Christmas Edition and other story radio sources. I know that I will probably be adding an iPad book or two as well. I am hoping that this will let my kids have some element of surprise and will be a good way to record some memories of the books we read (or listened to) together by jotting down little tid-bits on the back of the book cards. I'm looking forward to trying this out in a couple of days!

If you are interested in doing a version of this Christmas Book Book, you can download blank 4x6 book inserts. You can either write the name of the book or add the photos yourself to match your book collection.

Please stop by and visiting my other 5 Days of Christmas friends!

A Slob Comes Clean - Getting Your Home  Company Ready
Feels Like Home - Christmas Traditions
Somewhat Crunchy - Christmas with Dairy  Allergies
Spell Outloud - Children's Books
Mama's  Learning Corner - Children's Crafts
Many Little  Blessings - Edible Gifts
Sunflower  Schoolhouse - Decorations
An Oregon Cottage - Christmas Cookies
Catholic Icing - Wishing Jesus Happy  Birthday
The  Traveling Praters - Traveling
The Homeschool Classroom - Gifts Kids Can  Make
Mama's  Laundry Talk - Laundry Gifts

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Blogger Dacia said...

This is an awesome idea. Yes, wrapping would have been easier, but this idea is greener. You can reuse it multiple years, and make it into a record of holiday memories. It could even make it to a time when you read with grandchildren. You might have to add flaps to the back to keep recording dates/activities, though. Reminds me of when we used to get library books and you could see names of people who had checked it out before you. That was so neat to see familiar names. Love it!

November 29, 2011 at 1:07 PM  
Blogger Mozer said...

Dacia-- yes, I loved looking to see who checked out books!

What I was thinking I would do once the back of the card is filled, it just staple another blank card to the back. And when the time comes where we've outgrown this smaller album--it will be easy to transfer everything to a bigger 4x6 album.

November 29, 2011 at 1:15 PM  
Blogger JDaniel4's Mom said...

I really love this idea!

November 29, 2011 at 7:21 PM  
Blogger Beth (www.livinglifeintentionally.blogspot.com) said...

This is so cute - I love how it turned out! I think I still like the fun of watching my kids unwrap them..... but this is so cute it almost made me change my mind! I am your newest follower. I'd love for you to follow me back, if you want to =-)

November 30, 2011 at 10:14 AM  
Blogger Caterina said...

Do you have a list of the books you will be using?
Thanks this looks great,

November 30, 2011 at 6:19 PM  
Anonymous Honey @ Sunflower Schoolhouse said...

I love this idea. This could be used for any form of advent calendar too and not just the books. I have 2 of those photo albums just waiting for a project. THank you for sharing the idea.

December 1, 2011 at 5:32 AM  
Blogger Rebecca said...

This is amazing! Oh....I wonder if I have time to put it together!!! Thank you!

December 1, 2011 at 7:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing your Christmas Book book. For years I've been wanting a better way to organize how I do my book-a-day during Christmas. My sis-in-law made each of the kids (I have 5) a stocking Advent calendar. I was inspired by your tags for your books and just made tags to fit in the stockings! We have tags for a book, Christmas Carol, fun Christmas song, and a Christmas movie each day!

December 1, 2011 at 1:30 PM  
Blogger Sierra @ H is for Homeschooling said...

Hi Maureen! I love this way of doing a book advent! I am planning on wrapping our books one at a time because my son is really little. I can totally sympathize with not wanting to wrap them all too!

If you would like to join up to my advent linky party, I would love for you to share this idea with others who can't/don't want to wrap 24 books.


December 2, 2011 at 5:00 PM  

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