Recycled Board Books

November 9th, 2009 by Dionna | 3 Comments
Posted in Children, Compassionate Advocacy, Eclectic Learning, Ecological Responsibility and Love of Nature, Environmentalism, Homey Goodness, Just for Fun/Miscellaneous, natural parenting, Preschoolers, Toddlers

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Kieran has a few board books that he has either outgrown or worn out. I have been trying to come up with creative ways to recycle them (before giving them up and putting them in the “to donate” pile) and have a few ideas to share with you.

All of these ideas are also unique (and inexpensive) gift ideas for the holidays!

1) Turn them into mini-scrapbooks: This blog has detailed instructions on how to create precious scrapbooks out of your old board books. Or you could just simply Mod Podge some scrapbook paper onto each page, press the air bubbles out, use sandpaper to smooth down the edges of the pages, and decorate as desired.

2) Repurpose them as photo albums: Not into scrapbooking? No need to get fancy – many board books are approximately 4×6, so you can just Mod Podge on some photographs. If the pictures don’t fit exactly, you can cut them to size, glue two on, or put some scrapbook/construction paper on first as a simple background. You can also add captions and dates on each page.

3) Write your own book: All toddlers love stories about themselves, so get creative and repurpose your old board books into new ones. You can use white contact paper to cover the original pages. If you cut it to the right size, you can print words and/or pictures onto it first, or simply write on it with a fine tipped permanent marker. If you want to be super fancy, follow these instructions to make your own lift-the-flap book.

4) Turn one of the board book pages into a cool clock: This site has the instructions to make a completely original clock for your child’s room.

(The next three ideas are from my own brain, so idea-tweaking is welcome.)

5) Create a themed photo collage with pictures of your child: Find a photo frame with multiple 4×6 openings (like this one on sale for $10 at Joann’s right now!). Take a few pictures of your child that go along with the story in your board book. Cut several pages out of your book and arrange the pages and the pictures in the frame for a unique collage.

For example, one of the books I want to repurpose is Kieran’s well-loved copy of Goodnight Moon. I have several pictures of Kieran sleeping that I printed out. Here is how I put them together:

Goodnight Moon

6) Make it into an ordering game: Turn the pages of the book into a rainy day activity. Cut the pages apart and shuffle them up (use clear contact paper to keep edges from fraying/tearing if they’re tattered). Let your child tell the story in whatever order he chooses – it doesn’t have to be the order the book came in!

7) Let your toddler write a story: same idea as #3, but let your child tell the story. Storytelling develops imagination and communication skills.

Do you have any more ideas to recycle children’s board books? Let me know in the comments!

3 Responses to:
"Recycled Board Books"

  1. Mom

    I wonder if you could use pictures of friends and family and place the faces onto the characters of the books? Then you could rewrite it a little to be a story with the people that he knows and loves in them???
    I think Papa Hat should be The Cat in the Hat…heheheheh

  2. Deb

    Those are great ideas! One of the few board books I can’t let myself get rid of is “I’m Made of Mama’s Milk.” That would lend itself so well to some of those ideas.

  3. Melissa Ann

    great ideas, my favorite is #6 and #&

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