"Mr. Wold, you taught me how to read and write," begins the thoughtful thank-you book 5-year-old Emmett Brown is making for his kindergarten teacher on the last day of school. Emmett eagerly practices his new skills as he sounds out words and writes them with a sharp pencil.
"I think your glasses are cool when you read to us," he continues, energetically dotting the "i" and crossing the "t."
"Making a little book or card is a personalized way of showing teachers how much they have made an impact on young lives," says his mom, Wendy Brown, mother of two and blogger of her inspiring site about the art of handwriting (brownink.co).
Computers are a way of life for kids, but she believes it's important to make room for paper, pens and pencils, too.
"Emmett was going to write a card for his teacher, but when we discovered a create-your-own-books kit at a toy store, he got excited to make it a bigger production," she said.
To get started, Wendy and Emmett talked about the school year, and then she helped him create topics for each page. Using photos, stickers and magazine pictures, the pages feature nature outings, ice skating, night-sky watching and even the birth of Mr. Wold's baby girl. The "Words of the Day" page lists Emmett's favorites -- groundhog, the White House and chrysanthemum. On the "I like your one-liners" page, he writes, "It's the weekend, baby!" and he also glues on a tiny note from Mr. Wold: "Emmett, I'm hog wild for you."
Your school-age kids can show their appreciation to their teachers by putting energy behind a pen or pencil, too.
Help them make their own small book by stacking sheets of nice paper and punching holes along the side. Bind them together by weaving ribbon or string in and out of the holes.
If you prefer, make a card by folding heavy paper in half or use a large sheet of construction paper cut in half lengthwise. Tape the short ends together to make a long strip and make accordion folds. Jot thoughts and attach pictures on each section.
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