What are Lapbooks? A Cool Way to Learn!!

Just what is a lapbook?  Here’s a picture of the Pirate Lapbook my son made when he was a preschooler. As you can see, it is a file folder that is  refolded so that the edges meet in the middle. Then, you tape other pages to the bottom or into the middle to add in more material.

 

It is a cute way to display small folded mini-books, flaps, pop-up books, and/or folded display material. The lapbook can include photos, drawings, or anything else that helps them learn about the topic at hand.  Kids can add their own information, include questions to quiz themselves on or other interactive activities. They glue their finished pieces into a file folder (see the second photo below).

What I love about lapbooks is that the kids are drawn back to them again-and-again, showing them off to family and friends… even pulling them out to admire their work and repeat the activities.

It had been a while since we’ve done any lapbooks.  I saw this free robin lapbook over at Dynamic 2 Moms a couple of years ago and asked the girls if they would be interested in doing one on robins. ED and DD both said, “Yes!”  So, I printed everything out and the girls set to work.

Here’s a picture of ED as she was putting in the finishing touches… she glued in some extra photos of robins.

Here is a picture of the front so you’ll see how the file folder was folded (the front and back of the folder were folded to meet in the middle). I have to say that ED was horrified when I started to cut her drawing in half, but quickly saw why I was doing that! Whew… catastrophe averted!

By the way, ED signs everything “McKenna…” Her obsession with her American Girl Doll continues as strong as ever!!:)

In this particular lapbook, the girls learned what robins eat, what predators eat robins, where robins live in different seasons, the parts of the bird and the life cycle of the robin. If you look closely you can see how some of the parts unfold… that’s what makes the lapbooks so appealing and interactive!

ED has brought out the lapbook a number of times (to show Daddy and to look over her work). I love that!  Here she is reading the words (egg, juvenile, adult) and matching them to the pictures:

In the picture below, ED is telling me what the colors mean in the map. Lapbooks are a great way to reinforce material and make it exciting!

Here’s another lapbook on bears I did with DD when she was 3 or 4:

As you can see, it was pretty interactive. Below she is feeding the bear (the mouth is open so she could slip the berries, fish or whatever into its mouth)

In this lapbook, I taped in another page in the middle so I could add a few more activities like the color matching activity below (she obviously colored the bears in!):

One last example is this bat lapbook that LD made when he was in preschool:

He was so intrigued by bats! I can’t remember exactly where I got the parts for this lapbook. It might have been from Hands of a Child. I used them quite a bit for a couple of years. They have a free lapbook you can download on Metals.

Here’s a glimpse at the inside of a butterfly lapbooks DD did. You can see more of our lapbook projects here:

I made a Math Lapbook for ED about a year and a half ago. You can download this for free over at this post:

Free Math Lapbook (PreK, K, 1st Grade)

Where to Find Free Lapbooks:

I absolutely adore all the free lapbooks shared by Dynamic 2 Moms (Thank you so much Kelley and Tina!). That’s one of the first places I head if we are itching to do a lapbook. I especially love all their free history lapbooks.

Another incredible resource for free lapbooks is Homeschool Share. I bet there’s two or three hundred different lapbooks to choose from there!

You’ll find some free science lapbooks based on the Magic School Bus series over at Yee Shall Know.

Just ask your child what he or she is interested in learning about and give it a try!

One more thing before I go, these days we still use a lot of these flaps, foldables and little envelope sleeves, but we often include them in our science or history notebooks, but the lapbooks themselves seem to have a satisfaction-factor that just can’t be beat. It’s a finished product that the kids can show off and review over and over.  That’s why we did so many when the kids were 3-7 or so.

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