Folksongs were on our list again today, and the problem was bugging me, when all the sudden it came to me: we can make little songbooks the way that I did with our easy readers. Those are quick and easy, and as an extra bonus, in addition to giving us a much more lasting method for keeping our songs together, if the kids help write the words in the books that will help them to remember.
1 sheet cardstock and 9-10 sheets printer paper per book
A sewing machine and thread
supplies for decorating(optional)
a ruler and pencil(optional
What you do:
Gather up your papers. I'm running low, so our covers are just cream colored, which ended up working out really well. I like to use 6-10 sheets of paper when I do these. I've done up to 12, but it gets really bulky, and I don't like it so thick for this method.
Take your papers and cardstock, line them up carefully, and fold them in half.
Open them back up and set them on your sewing machine, lining the needle up with the fold you made. It's usually easier to see this fold from the pages side of the pile, rather than the cover side of things. You want a line that you can see passably well, because this is going to be your stitching guide.
Carefully sew down the fold. It's nice if it goes perfectly, but close enough is good enough. A surprisingly large amount of variation in the line still folds nicely.
Next, fold the booklets closed again, and clip the strings.
Because I plan to have Hero(10) write out his own lyrics, I quick penciled in some lines. These are quick and soft. He said that he'd like it better if I did it in pen next time, because these lines erased when he was fixing mistakes.
I set a timer for 10 minutes, and had him work on his own lyrics. For the younger kids, I'll just write in the lyrics for them, so they can follow along in their own copy, and our collection will grow as we do more folksongs.
The kids want to have them covered in contact paper, which will make them much tougher and more long-lasting, which I think is a great idea.
Now, as we do our folksongs, the lyrics will accumulate in our books, and (I'm being optimistic when I had everyone label it "book 1") down the road we should have a little collection of them, which is a fun thing to contemplate. I think it will be an awesome way to integrate this into our family culture a little bit more.