Making a family story book: why it’s good for children
Family relationships give your child a sense of self and belonging. And when children feel safe, secure and like they belong, they have confidence to learn and develop through exploring their world.
A family story book can foster your child’s sense of identity and belonging. And making the story book can help to develop your child’s literacy skills.
What you need to make a family story book
- Photographs of your family
- Pens and pencils
- Staples (adult use only) or a hole punch and string or ribbon
How to make a family story book
- Show your child the family photographs and talk about them. The photos might be of people your child knows well, like siblings or parents. They might also be of people your child doesn’t see often or people who have died. You could include pictures of people when they were younger, including yourself.
- Tell your child you’re going to make a family story book together. Let your child decide which pictures to put in the book and what story to tell. It could be a story about something your child remembers, like Roly the dog getting lost. Or it could be a story you’ve shared with your child, like what happened the day your child was born.
- Make the book by cutting out the pictures and gluing them on the pages.
- Write the story together. Encourage your child to decide what details to include and how to say things, rather than writing the story for your child.
- Your child might like to draw pictures of people and things you don’t have photographs for, like family pets.
- Staple the pages together, or punch holes in them and tie them together with string or ribbon.
- Keep the book nearby so your child can read it. A home-made family story book is lovely to share together at bedtime. Your child might also like to show the book to other family members, carers or friends.
Adapting a family story book for children of different ages or children with diverse abilities
Your younger child might need help cutting and gluing the pictures. Try to guide your child by holding their hand while they use the scissors, rather than just doing it for them.
Your younger child’s stories are likely to be very simple. For example, ‘This is Mummy. This is Daddy’. Your child will need you to write words and names. You can encourage your child to try tracing over or copying letters and words as well.
Your older child might be interested in who fits in where. For example, your child might be able to understand that Auntie Jayanthi is Daddy’s sister. Some older children might also be interested in things that happened before they were born, like how their grandparents came to Australia.
All children learn and develop through play. Our articles on play and autistic children and play and children with disability are great starting points for adapting this activity guide for children with diverse abilities. You might also like to explore our activity guides for children with diverse abilities.