Make Learning Fun with Lapbooks

What exactly are lapbooks or "folder books?" I certainly had no idea what they were a few short years ago. But, now I know...

They are interesting, colorful, and visual records you create with your child using file folders and art supplies after studying a particular subject.

I discovered these as we were working through an activities-based homeschool curriculum and they quickly became a terrific complement to our homeschool lessons.

Planning Stage

First, visit some sites that explain how to make lapbooks and maybe even include some free templates to make the task easier. Next, assemble the supplies that you will need to create them. Then, make a sample ahead of time to show your children. Finally, call your children and review the topic and begin to make all the little books, folders, and other great inserts needed for this project.

Required Materials

When we start to make these fun review aids, we usually pull out all of our art-related home school supplies but mostly we use these:

  • file folders, cardstock and large envelopes for adding material on the backs of folders
  • colored paper and paper trimmer
  • scissors, glue, and other office supplies
  • templates
  • specialty items like fancy scissors and glue-on letters or felt

Some Recent Family Lapbooks

  • Transportation
  • Moses & the Ten Commandments
  • Our Solar System
  • All About Me
  • Money

They can cover a broad topic, such as money, or you could target a more specific topic like "how money is printed." Lapbooks answer the five W's about a subject-who, what, where, when, and why.


I really enjoy using them as part of our home school curriculum. They allow me to gauge just how well I've covered a topic and determine if further study is needed.

I use them to review, assess, and preserve what has been studied with our children. They love showing them to family and friends, too. Usually, a slight competition even arises and everyone secretly works on their projects trying to produce the most creative.

You've heard what I think about lap books. Now, hear what my children had to say about them:

  • I like to make them 'cause it's fun, Age 5
  • You get to use creativeness and get to hang out with your family, Age 8
  • I get to put whatever I want in them, Age 9
  • It's extremely fun. I love them, Age 12
  • There are so many things you can do with them. They're fun, Age 13
  • And, from my high school age children...

  • I love being able to look at them when you're finished. It's cool to do crafts, do the writing, and have fun while doing school, Age 14
  • Lap books are a great way to express creativeness and they really stress your writing skills, which are important for college, Age 16
  • Lap books are a combination of essays and arts and crafts. They're great for hands-on learning, Age 18

I think that tells it all, don't you? Try making these fun records with your children and you'll see how great they can be.

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