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What do you put in an intros book?(16 Posts)
We're are writing our intros book for our (hopefully) soon to be DC. Aged 6 and 5
So far we have:
Intro's to 'new' Mummy and Daddy
Page about where we work and what we do
Bit about our interests
Couple of pages of our pets
Photos of outside our house
Photos of bedroom
Photos of living room/kitchen
Photos depicting things to do in local area
Bit about our immediate families
Obviously all age appropriate
Can't put anything about schools as haven't chosen it yet.
Is there anything else you included? Anything that your children said they really loved in their intros book?
Thanks for any ideas!
We made a video but what you have put sounds about right
If age appropriate you could do a couple of simple 'maps' eg. this is the route we walk to the shops / woods / sea / library etc.
Could also do a floorplan of the house and garden, some children like that. Good luck
Both mine were a bit younger but we did talking albums - for DC2 we used a Tomy recordable album and for DC1 some talking cards we got from the internet.
The Tomy thing would look a bit babyish but you could use the cards, or could you even record a video/audio clip and send it on a USB stick or by email to foster carer?
Our two still love looking through their intro books and the pages that 'talk' are the most valued!
This is what we used:
But a more grown up version might be this:
Re bedroom -make sure you say they can choose their own duvet cover, pictures for the wall , show plenty space for their toys and clothes they will bring with them.
Contrary to popular belief, many foster kids have LOADS of stuff, clothes and toys. Especially if they have been with the FF for a while . Make sure there is space and storage .
Ask the foster carers what they like to eat and take some photos of you eating their favourite meals. There's bound to be something you have that they like at the FC, even if it's just a plate of cornflakes. Kids of that age can worry that they won't like your food.
show your bathroom and point out ( if it's true ) that you have and shower and a bath so they can chose which they want to have.
Find out from FC what they like to do and be sure to mention it eg photo of swings in park, local swimming pool, football, dancing , rainbows
Go easy on the extended family, it can be a bit intimidating. A new mum and dad is quite scary enough . Ditto where you work, most 5-6 year olds don't care .unless you are something interesting like a premier league footballer or an airline pilot or train driver or work in macdonalds .
Also they will worry who will look after them while you are both at work
My kids are 8 and 9 and they wouldn't relate to maps or floor plans . Video idea is great as 5-6 year olds probably are only beginning to read themselves .
Get as much information from the FC as you can. So if they say Johnny is scared of the dark, show his room with a nightlight or light in the hall at night.
If Mary will only have her hair washed with one type of shampoo, show a bottle in the bathroom
If they eat every meal smothered in Heinz tomatoe sauce, put a container on the kitchen table.
It's all about the little details and practical things that make up every day life to a 5 and 6 year old. It's about keeping as much of their daily routine as possible.
If their FC lets them watch Cbeebies for an hour aftre breakfast, then let them do that. I don't care if you don't approve. You have years to wean them off TV / tomatoes ketchup /junk food /horrible haircuts / whatever you don't approve of.
The books needs to be as much as possible about them ( as in focused their needs ) and not about you. They don't care if you are a lawyer or an loss adjuster.
HTH. And congratulations !
Can I second the above comment on extended families. We were told not to include extended families at all. You should be funneling for at least the first couple of weeks so they won't meet them for quite a while. You can introduce them gradually once the time is right. This transition will be overwhelming enough for them without adding more confusion.
And why does my auto correct turn tomato into tomatoe ?
Agree with Kristina about getting relevant info from FC.
e.g. AD1 wanted a Dad who went to work, so we included a photo of Dad at work in the book. Also a photo of supermarket to show her we would buy food.
You didn't say whether you are in all the photos, generally you should appear in lots of them.
Are you doing a separate book for each child? That way you can tailor to them a bit e.g. only show their own bedroom.
AD1 was 8. For her we did include a double page of immediate family with one sentence on each. e.g. Here is uncle XX - he likes sailing. Here is cousin Y - she likes anything pink.
Even for AD1 we only had limited info on each page. e.g. One large photo plus 2 or 3 large font sentences. For AD2 (age 2) we had even less.
If you are going to give them a special cuddly toy on meeting, you can hide them in the pictures too.
Also if you already have their photos, have them up casually on display on the mantelpiece in one of the pictures.
We also made a DVD with a tour of the house, because the girls had made us one with their FC!
Yes, we are doing different books for each child and although we're not in every photo, we are putting different photos in each book so they will have lots of us, the house etc.
Sounds like I'm pitching it roughly right with a couple of adjustments; we are only adding 2 or 3 sentences per page in large font
Love the idea of having the photo of them on the mantel piece and will defo look into the talking album - thank you very much.
Any more ideas, please keep them coming!
Thanks so much.
We included a few pictures of a teddy that was given to our son with the photobook before we met him. So he could look at the book, while having the teddy in his hand.
That teddy is currently tucked up in bed with him :-)
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We made sure the toys that were being given to the children alongside the books were in a lot of the photos.
We put a message in at the start that this was So and So who mummy and daddy had chosen specially for them, that they'd been exploring their new house and couldn't wait to live there with DC.
Ours were 5 and 6 as well.
I would skip the page on work and only put things that are relevant to the child. Apart from that ours was very similar to yours: We had a page on us ("Hello, I am X, I am your new Mummy" etc.), a page on our interests in a childcentred way like "baking and eating chocolate cake, knitting jumpers for little girls, jumping" etc., a page on their transitional toy and how that toy was thinking of them. We asked what their favourite animals were and got two dogs, one wanted to be a fox and was therefore called Foxy, the other thought they were an elephant ("Elli"). They liked that. A picture of our street and our house with us waving at the windows, pictures of our door and every room with a short description what we/they were going to do there (no more than 2-3 sentences per page), picture of a playground nearby and where we would do our shopping. Page with pics of grandparents and something interesting/ fun about them. The final page had 6 close ups of furniture and small items in various rooms and asked them if they could figure out in which room those items were in. They loved that. We also included all the pictures we had of the children, some of them on the mantelpiece, others at the fridge. In every picture their transition toys were either hiding or doing what they were going to do in that room, eg. sitting at the dinner table.
I copied some Charlie & Lola pictures which looked like my kids and included them into the book, so they could imagine themselves in the various locations and situations. I found children's books very helpful for inspiration in general.
We also send a short video with us giving them a house tour, so they could hear our voices and see us in action. According to the fc they wanted to watch that over and over again.
I would put a lot of effort into the welcome book. My children have been with us for 7 years and still regularly look through that book and have shown it quite a few people. The dvd on the other hand you can do very quickly. Ours took maybe an hour to make.
We gave them their toys at the first meeting. The two doggies are always in their beds and are still very important to them, particularly when they are scared or sad.
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