DIY Cardstock Book Tutorial

Whether your child has Down syndrome, autism, another language delay, or they are just struggling with a new concept, sometimes the need arises for a book that addresses a very specific word or concept.

Here’s an easy technique using cutting and folding to make a staple-free blank heavy-duty book from scratch, perfect for adding your own text and pictures.  These are great for teaching concepts and making predictable books for target sounds and words to use in the classroom, speech therapy room, or homeschool.

I’ve included pictures using two different colors of cardstock to help illustrate the process.


1.  Cardstock (or construction paper for flimsier books).

2.  Clear sealing/packaging tape.

3.  Scissors.


1.  Fold cardstock in half, short end to short end, and crease along middle fold.  (Each sheet will yield 4 pages including cover and back page.)  This process, unlike a typical stapled book, allows you to use quite a few pages of cardstock if desired.

2.  Open up card stock and cut half-way up the creased line on each page.

3.  Keep 1 sheet of cardstock with the cut slit on the bottom edge (A).  Flip other cardstock pages (B) so the cut slit is on the top edge.

4.  Fit sheets together so that the slit in the B pages slides into the slit in the A pages.

5.  Continue sliding top paper down until the top and bottom edges of all the sheets are aligned.

6.  Flip book over so the cover and end pages are face up.  Place a strip of tape along the spine of the book where each slit meets the opposite page.

7.  Flip the book back over and place a strip of tape along the center line of each 2-page spread making sure to keep the pages aligned.  (The tape serves to create a binding and anchor cut edges.)

Now your book is ready for customization using your text, photos, drawings, clip art and magazine pictures.

If you tackle this project, I’d love how to hear how you’re using it.  If you blog about it, send me a link!



Following Directions – Free Cut and Paste Printable

Noah has been learning positional words like over, under, through, on top of, etc. at hippotherapy, so I was looking for some free printables to practice those words at home.  (Click on the thumbnail below for the link to the free printable.)

This free printable was PERFECT!  I actually printed out three copies of this.  Noah (6-with Down syndrome) and Bella (4) did it together.  I’m going to do this with Andres (8) later this week and see if he can do it correctly with auditory-only directions.

Noah is working on his scissor skills, and I am happy to report he is using scissors in a thumb-up position without any prompting.   I cut out the strips and let him cut out the squares as I held the paper for him.  Then I read the directions out loud and helped him paste the pictures where they belonged.

This was challenging for him because it was really a two-step command.  He had to select the right picture first, and then he had to put it on the right spot on the house page.

He didn’t seem to be able to carry over his knowledge of those positional words that he has learned at hippotherapy.  This is a perfect example of how many children with Down syndrome have trouble generalizing information.  Just because Noah has learned what “over” means in relation to horses or even himself positionally, he doesn’t know that that same word is used when he puts the cat “over” the chimney.

It’s easy to get discouraged, but mommies remember, the first time your child learns a concept is the hardest.  As you have to teach the same concept in different situations, it will become easier and easier since the foundation has already been laid.   And just remember, you’re not really “reteaching;” you are  broadening your child’s understanding of the concept.

I loved the fact that both Noah and Bella stayed engaged in this activity for the duration- and there were ten pictures that had to be placed.  I worked in lots of articulation practice along with the vocabulary.  I had Noah attempt each word twice as he glued it, and then at the end I had him attempt each word one more time as I pointed.

Noah”s speech therapist taught him last week that ghosts say “Boo,” so he spent half of our session today yelling “boo” at me.

So nice to hear his voice.  So very, very nice.

Update – Andres (Chiari 1 Malformation)

Well, here we are not even three months out from Andres’ Chiari 1 malformation decompression surgery.

“How are his headaches?” you ask.

“Andres, how are your headaches?”

“What headaches?”

Gone.  Completely gone.

The neurosurgeon shook his head and reminded us the week before surgery that because Andres didn’t have the typical Chiari back-of-the-head headaches, there was only a 30% chance they would go away after surgery.

Gone.  Completely gone.

Andres is running, jumping, playing, riding his bike, getting out of breath, and not needing to come inside and lie down.  The little boy with the grimmace is gone.

It’s amazing what a few months (and a great surgeon) can do.