Let’s make a zig zag book to tell how your family is special! Each family is unique. One family may love skiing in the mountains, and another might especially enjoy visiting historic sites. Some families have lived in the same place for years, while others may move a lot. Each family also has a unique history, with stories, favorite foods, and traditions passed down from grandparents, great grandparents, and even farther back.
For example, I grew up in a small town on the coast of Maine. Saturday night always meant baked beans and brown bread, made with lots of molasses. Special meals included lobsters, clams, corn on the cob, and blueberry pie—sometimes cooked and eaten at the beach. Waves crashing on the rocks, beach roses, and lighthouses say home to me.My father’s ancestors had come to this town several hundred years before, perhaps as fishermen. But by the 1800s most managed general stores or other small rural businesses. On my mother’s side were farmers, and I loved my great grandfather’s barn where black and white cows chomped on sweet hay, and a big coon cat named Fluffy, hunted mice in the dark corners.
What makes your family special? Where have you’ve lived? What foods does your family make for special events? What pets do you have? What fun activities does your family enjoy? What holiday traditions do you have? What are your family’s favorite books and movies? Do you have stories about your family history?
Let’s get started making a zig-zag booklet to record all the things that make your family unique.
- Construction paper in two colors
- Scissors, pencil, ruler, glue stick or white glue
- Be creative! Have fun. Gather and use many materials.
- Use paper scraps, yarn, glitter, stickers, leaves, buttons, fabric. The sky’s the limit!
- Use crayons, pencils, markers, or paints, whatever you want!
Directions for the Zig Zag Booklet
- Measure and cut 3 pieces of one color of construction paper (I used blue) into 3 pieces 6” X 12”
- Repeat with the other color (I used green)
- Fold each of the 6 pieces in half
- Choose one color to be the front and cut one of its 3 pieces in half along the fold (I used blue)
- Cut 4 pieces of ribbon, each about 7” long
- Begin putting together the folded pieces of construction paper, alternating the 2 colors. Start with one cut piece of blue which will be glued to the green’s outside front fold. Then glue one side of a blue piece to the inside back of that first green piece. Notice the green piece folds toward you and the blue piece folds towards the back. (see the diagram and photos)
- Continue this pattern until you get to the 2nd blue half piece and glue this to the inside front of the last green piece. (see the diagram)
- Check that you have created a zig zagging length before gluing
- Also be sure to lay the 4 pieces of ribbon in between the correct layers of paper (see the diagram) before gluing those layers together.
- Glue and let dry
Directions for decorating the cover
- I decided to make a house on my cover and used scraps of colored paper to make its windows, door, roof, and bushes. Don’t forget the door knob! If you decide to make a house, you might draw a picture of family members in the windows or glue in photos of them.
- But you can do whatever you’d like with crayons, paint, fabric, etc. and you may want to put a title on the cover, too. You might use stamps or watercolor paints to decorate the cover. Here are some ideas from previous posts: bubble prints, cardboard tube prints, leaf prints, paint designs made by blowing with a straw, painting with a cardboard strip, watercolor paints, and prints made from finger painting. All these techniques are explained in earlier posts.
Ideas for doing the pages
- While you’re making your zig zag booklet, write or email your grandparents if you have questions about your family history.
- Also during this time, interview family members for their favorites, etc.
- Here are some suggestions of things to put on the pages of your booklet:
- Family history
- Places you’ve lived
- Favorite foods
- Favorite books and movies
- Favorite Bible verses
- Things your family likes to do together
- Use pictures and/or lists to tell these things. You can write or type information on a piece of white paper and glue it to the colored paper. Use special computer fonts for titles
- If you’d like a more easily-made booklet, take one long piece of paper and fold it back and forth to create the zig zags.
- Instead of each person making a booklet, make a family booklet with family pages and individual pages for each member.
- Although younger children will need help making a zig zag booklet, once that’s done, they can certainly enjoy coloring and decorating the pages.
Molly wasn’t sure she liked wearing a beret in this photo! But she’s sure you’ll enjoy our next posts about a nature artist and a fun and easy art activity about nature.