Lapbooking as a Tool for Learning

What is lapbooking?

As home educators, we continuously look for fun and creative ways for our children to express to us what they have learned.  Rather than a multiple choice exam, a lapbook is one way to accomplish more in-depth explanation from the child.  Reteaching is one of the best ways for anyone to learn, and with lapbooks, children can use an interesting visual tool that they created themselves to reteach any topic.  Lapbooks can be created within any subject – math, English, history, science, art, music, and more.  The possiblities truly are endless.

Think of pop-up books which have different doors that open to show more information.  You can add disappearing wheels, accordian style popups, popups with multiple flaps, baggies of specimens, whatever you want to do.  When the display is closed, it should fit in the child's lap. 

It begins with an inexpensive file folder.  Using glue, staples, and scissors – you simply re-purpose it into a sturdy display tool.  Your child then adds visuals to the display to explain what you are learning.   For younger children, parents can do things such as writing what the child tells them to write. But you will want to have the child do as much as they are physically able – including gluing,  cutting, and coloring. 

When you are finished with the study, have your child show each component of their lapbook and explain what they have learned.  They will really enjoy opening up all the little compartments, turning and sliding the peekaboo components, and this can definitely spark a different type of love for learning. 

For any age, lapbooking is also a great way to introduce public speaking.  As they flip through each component, teach them how to make eye contact with their audience while telling what the audience is seeing.  You can take this in any direction which fits your learning goals.


LapbookSampleRobinsThe photo here is of a lapbook project on the nature study of American Robins.  It's a sample of one where the child used a colored file folder and then cut and pasted from a themed set.  This one is from Notebooking Nook where you can download tons of free samples to try! (

  • Lapbooks can be created for any topic you are studying within a subject.  You can even break it down and do a lapbook for each sub-topic, depending on how deep you go in your discussions.
  • Lapbooks can be incorporated for unit studies
  • Lapbooks can be created using scraps of material around the home or you can purchase lapbook kits online – there are many free downloads too!
  • Lapbook kits sometimes have explanations on how to assemble them and some even include the data
  • If your child is older, have them research the data themselves.

Try a lapbook for your next study topic and see for yourself how easy it is, and how incredibly useful this tool is to help your child retain what they are learning. 

We interviewed Robyn Fish, who gave us a quick explanation of how she uses lapbooks in her home – even with a newborn and a toddler in tow!!  As Robyn explains, finding free or inexpensive lapbook kits is a simple as googling:  lapbook for (insert name of your topic, such as honey bees or ancient Greece) and hit search!

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