Make a Book

A story in which your toddler is the hero!

Preparation time: Make a book requires that you set aside about twenty minutes. If your older toddler wants to help actually make the book you will need several sessions to finish your project.

Clean-up time: Quick one minute clean-up!

Game Duration: Once the crafting part of the project is complete, generally between 5 and 15 minutes per session of book enjoyment.

What you will need: Photos of your child, scissors, glue, cardstock or heavy construction paper, clear "Mactac", a hole puncher and string or a key ring.

How to Play:

Toddlers love books and they love to see pictures of themselves! This activity, which combines both of these, is sure to please your little one over and over again. You can decide to make a book yourself and then present it to your toddler for his enjoyment (especially if you have a very young toddler) or you can involve him in the creation of his special book.

The first thing you need to do is choose some pictures and either have them developed or print them out. If you do not have access to a colour printer you can go to your neighbourhood print shop or to any number of large stores that offer printing services. Try to center your choices around a theme, such as your little one's visit to the zoo, or your toddler's favorite winter activities, or pictures of your family and friends. We recommend that you choose anywhere from 5 to 15 pictures (less for a younger toddler and more for an older one) but this is entirely up to you!

Next, you will need to glue each photo onto the cardstock or construction paper. You can generally fit two pictures onto a 8''x11'' sized paper.

Once you have your pages ready you will need to seal them with Mactac. This makes your finished project last longer. Mactac is a clear plastic with adhesive on one side, available in craft stores, discount stores, and many other places. Warning: This part of the project is not toddler friendly! Mactac can be a little tricky to manipulate. The easiest way we've found to tackle this step of the project is to pre-cut your plastic sheets to measure a little more than twice the size of each page. Place each page on one half of your prepared Mactac sheet and carefully fold the other half over it; leaving a slight edge all around. Take your time with this step to avoid trapping any air bubbles.

Now you are ready to bind your pages into a toddler book! Use the hole puncher to place a hole at the top left hand corner of each page. (Make a hole in the first page and use it as a guide for the others so that your pages line up neatly.) Thread them onto a key ring, or use a sturdy piece of string or ribbon to tie them together.

Voilà! Now you and your toddler have a personalized book that you will both love! Looking through these pictures can inspire conversation about things that are meaningful to your toddler, and help him build his self-concept.


  • Once you have applied the Mactac, round each page corner slightly. This will remove any 'pointy' edges and give the toddler book a uniform look.
  • Older toddlers will want to be involved in choosing photos of themselves, and can be involved at various stages of the project. If you are using a glue-stick (not liquid glue), they can help glue the photos onto the heavy construction paper. If you have a choice of colours, they can indicate which color paper they want as well.

  • If you are feeling adventurous, you can make a book with custom 'flaps' that your toddler can lift to discover hidden pictures. This entails some more work, and is definitely a project you'll want to prepare ahead of time and on your own. The result, however, is well worth it. Look for full details and instructions in our upcoming Toddler Crafts section!
  • You have a toddler niece, a toddler neighbour, a toddler friend from playgroup? These books make great gifts!

Return from Make a Book to Quiet Play

Return from Make a Book to Toddler Games and Activities