One of my children’s favorite quiet activities is our homemade “quiet/busy” book, which I made as a Christmas gift. It is often included in their church bag or taken in the car on road trips.
I originally made it for our 5-year-old daughter, but we were all surprised to see our 2-year-old little boy excited to play with it, too! (He just doesn’t keep track of the little pieces very well yet, so needs extra supervision.)
The pages and most of the activities are made from inexpensive craft felt. I was inspired by several different projects that I found online, and combined them into our book.
- Tic-Tac-Toe and the Dress-Up Doll were inspired by the projects in At Second Street. I kept our pieces smaller, so that they each fit on one page. The “extra” pieces (the tic-tac-toe game pieces and the doll clothes) are each stored in little pockets that I sewed onto the bottom of the pages, instead of spreading out onto a second page. For the Dress-Up Doll, I used yarn for the hair, and a small bit of embroidery for the face & underwear.
- The Weave-It Page was inspired by the Family Safe Media’s Quiet/Busy Book. It’s a new skill for my 5-year-old (and the 2-year-old just skips this page completely), so it’s nice to have an activity for them to “grow into.”
- For the “I Spy” page, I cut out cute little prints from various fabrics, and sewed them onto a page “collage style.” I was inspired by the Patchwork I Spy page at The Daley News (scroll down in this post to see). Again, I made a small pocket at the bottom of the page for the matching pieces (sewed onto little felt squares).
- One activity does take up the two center pages: a Button-Up Flower picture. (Buttons are attached to sewn-on “flower stems.”) All the flowers have a small slit cut in them, in order to button onto the stems. I made a small felt “basket” pocket on one page for storing the flowers. This page was inspired by the Flower-Buttoning Page in the Busy Book at Little Hands, Big Work (sorry, the direct link doesn’t seem to be working, so scroll down to the bottom of this archive page).
Now that I see how interested my little boy is in the book, I’m thinking I’ll need to make one of his own (with more age-appropriate projects/pieces) sometime soon!