This project is kind of a funny one. Super easy but made with unlikely materials, this accordion book is the sort of thing that you wouldn't necessarily think of, until you do and then you can't believe you didn't think of it sooner. In both my teaching life and as a volunteer at my local library I have learned that books, despite all appearances, are not forever. In fact, a well-loved book in a children's library may not last all that long at all. Bindings get broken, pages get torn, water or juice gets spilled. Before you might think, a book needs replacement.
Which leaves the question of what to do with the old copy. Recycling a book in your front yard bin has always felt really odd to me. For the most part, I have never been able to bring myself to do it. But after some amount of thought, I decided that I do feel okay about recycling old books into new ones. Especially if they are about to get tossed into the school or library recycling bin anyway.
There are obviously fancier and more involved ways to turn old books into new ones, but for our purposes, we used a variation on this project. A very simple accordion fold yields a book that can be made in minutes flat and used right away. If you are very nearly seven, the expediency of a craft project is highly important.
What you will need:
Pages from an old book
A folding tool (bone folder, popsicle stick etc.)
What you will do:
Lay your paper out on a flat surface. The key to getting a nice crease in the paper is to be able to press down hard as you make your folds, so make sure that your work surface is sturdy.
Fold the paper in half again by bringing the two shorter ends of the paper together and matching them up carefully.
Now take each half of the folded paper and fold it in half again, creating an accordion fold like the one pictured below.
We used round two-inch sticky labels to cover the text and images on the recycled paper and to create a new, blank space for writing and drawing.
I am curious though.
If you are looking for old books to use for this project, I suggest asking your local librarian for "weeded" volumes that are headed for the recycling bin. You might also check yard sales now that spring has arrived in places that are not Vermont and people are likely to be spending more time out of doors.