BOOK PLACE MATS (homemade gift)

We drew Andrew's brother's family for the Christmas gift exchange, and I wanted to do something homemade. I spend 24/7 thinking up ways to get kids to fall in love with books, so this gift seemed right up my alley. 

I'd love to do this for my kids one day. While waiting for or eating their dinner, they are exposed to print in a fun, causal way. The little ones are learning to recognize new words and their minds are being conditioned to associate pleasure with books and reading. Early on, this can make a world of difference. 

Ugh. Do I sound like a teacher or what?

But the amazing parents of our niece and nephews don't even need this lecture, so I'll stop now. 

I took a trip to the local thrift store and returned  home with an armload of old books.

I sought after those with bright, beautiful illustrations...

Or those easily-recognized classics most people have memories of and nostalgic feelings for.

Then for FHE, we cut pages out of books...which I might add, was not easy. It totally feels sacrilegious to desecrate a book. I don't care how old and torn and thrift store-y it is. 

I am an elementary teacher, after all. 

For this one, we took apart an alphabet book. 

But I learned that my husband is a scrap booking fiend. We tag-teamed most of these, but Andrew could definitely hold his own. 

Except I had severe doubts over the nursery rhyme he chose for his brother's (not pictured). Andrew rolled with laughter while I had to stress about causing offense. I had nothing to do with that decision, Jeff!

Who knew there were such dirty Mother Goose rhymes?

We arranged a front and back side for each person. At least then, Jeff had choices.

When I found this book in the thrift store, I snatched it off the shelf and actually did a Napoleon Dynamite-style, "yesss."

This was from a book that little Adelle asked me repeatedly to read to her while she was visiting us. So I found another one I could *wince* tear apart. 

Then we dye cut their names, rounded the corners of the mats, laminated everything, and shipped 'em off.

It was a fun project that I hope they enjoy.

I've linked here and here and here and here and here and here and here!


Andrea said...

I am so glad we were the lucky recipients of this special gift.
I didn't recognize Adelle's as a story she had you repeatedly read. That makes it even more special!
Also I was impressed to learn that Andrew helped. I was giving you all the credit!
And I won't disclose Jeff's semi appropriate poem, or the extreme laughter that erupts any time it is noticed at the table!

Tiffany said...

Such a cute idea. I think I would have a hard time dismembering books, but I may just have to scope out the thrift store...

My little boys love that "How I Became a Pirate" book. We order it and the sequel this month from Scholastic, now our library can have it sit on the shelf for more than a few days. :)

Anonymous said...

Very cute idea! It's a unique gift and love it!!

Heidi @ Decor & More said...

A wonderful way to share favorite stories! Thanks for sharing. :)

Unknown said...

Gosh I love these! I gotta get my crafty on.... my daycare kiddos will love 'em!

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