Everything You Need To Know About Quiet Books And How To Make One

Preview: Everything you will ever need to know about quiet book for toddlers in one place: from how to make one or where to buy quiet book.  

What made me make my first quiet book

If you are a crafty mom like me, or aunt or grandmother, who wants handicraft special gift for a child in her life, then making quiet book comes as a logical choice.

When my nephew’s 2nd birthday was approaching I panicky searched ideas for what would be the best personalized gift for a toddler. Seeing the variety of activity book pages that can be customized and adapted to child’s developmental stage made me very excited.

Since I couldn’t pick ’only’ 10 pages, that would be average sized busy book, I ended up making 16 pages. Some great busy book page ideas, like piggy bank or felt puzzle car, were so irresistible that I have had to make them. And my quiet book was born.

After that I made many, many different quiet books and as a result here I’m, sharing my experience and knowledge with you.

My goal is to make it easy for you and provide everything you need to know about quiet book for toddlers:

Bonus: Download a free worksheet to plan your DIY Quiet Book .



Secrets of what makes good quiet book 

A Quiet book, often called an as busy book, activity book, quiet time book or cloth book is set of fabric pages, filled with entertaining kids activities.

Busy books are often used to keep kids ‘quiet’ on a trip, doctor’s office or at home when it comes to quiet play. That is how quiet activity book actually got the name. Originally it was used to keep children quiet in a church.

In the old days, when there was no such overwhelming number of available plastic toys in the stores, women sew fabric busy books. Special handcrafted fabric activity book was passed on generations. When made of quality fabric (not felt) pages binded together make this toy very durable and when something tears, in most cases it can be easily fixed.

Now, behind word ‘entertaining’ there is a lot more benefits than just play and entertainment. The activity book is not just an ordinary toy. A child who plays with quiet book can get so many beneficial life skills, together with developing fine motor skills.

1. Developmental benefits

  • fine motor skills development
  • hand-eye coordination
  • problem solving
  • gumption
  • attention
  • spatial imagination
  • logical thinking

2. Learning skills

  • mathematical (numbers and counting)
  • creative skills
  • main colours
  • sorting and matching
  • geometrical shapes
  • spelling

3. Practical Life Skills

  • buttoning
  • zipper
  • shoe lacing
  • braid making
  • weaving
  • tying bow

ultimate quide - quiet book for toddlers

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Making VS. Buying Quiet Book 

I often hear question: Making activity book seems like a very time-consuming, is it worth buying one?  Well , there is no easy answer to that question. There are pros and cons for each, and you should ask yourself:

  1. Do I have enough spare time I can devote to making a quiet book?
  2. Am I patient enough to cut and sew small pieces?
  3. Is buying quiet book in to my budget?

If you answered YES to first two questions then go for it. Find resources further in this post a make your own activity book.

If you are no so quite sure about first two, but answered YES to 3rd question, then you have variety of busy books to choose from. Including ordering custom busy book for toddlers of your choice, personalized with your kid’s name on a front cover and/or personalized pages (like Spell my name page).

I always recommend Etsy.com as the endless resource of beautifully handcrafted toys and  quiet book for kids in different price ranges. Most sellers will accept custom orders and try to accommodate your wishes, if you for example want specific theme,  or activities that are currently in your child’s focus.

spelling quiet book page ideas

Links to some quiet book for sale :

Furthermore, designed activity books can be purchased on Amazon. If you are not picky or if you are not wanting custom handcrafted book, you can find great choices for much less money.


Making a quiet book for toddlers

Plan your theme and pages in advance.

Bonus: Download a free worksheet to plan your DIY Quiet Book .

That includes having main idea of activities you want to put in, such as choice of main colours and objects that your child has affection to. You may also choose a specific theme.

Brainstorm activities you would like to put in the book and then plan pages whic will nclude those activites.

Knowing which activities you want will make a good start. From there, you can design your own pages or search ideas on Pinterest.

Some busy book ideas and themes to start with:

  • mixed activities of your choice
  • doll house quiet book
  • seasonal; like Easter or Christmas quiet book
  • farm animals quiet book
  • Monsters Inc. Quiet book
  • cars and trucks book
  • sports
  • preschool (focused on counting, spelling…)

Once you have an idea what pages you want, decide on a number of pages: 8 or 12 is perfect count.

From this step, I usually cut fabric for pages and start designing activities. I cut felt or fabric pieces (leaving very small details for now) and place them on pages to see roughly how it will look. This allows me to play with colours, setting up felt activity pieces and matching fabric with background pages.

Once, I have almost all of my pages designed I will start sewing pages one by one. Here I will do all small pieces and additional small activity details when sewing each page.

If this seems overwhelming, especially if this is very first activity book you are making, you may wanna stick to designing and sewing one page at the time.

However, this does not allow you to make any changes if you wanna make in your book design when you come to the end. It is totally up to you which way you choose. Either is good and will take you to the very same end – your own DIY quiet book.

Related: Custom made Farm Play Mat

Quiet book page ideas

These are just some ideas for activity pages. As you may notice there are may different variations on the same theme or an activity, therefore it is good to be aware of what theme you wanna follow through whole book.

For instance, there are couple variations for shapes activity:  house, semi, tractor or just plain page with shapes – all depending on child’s interests.

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Materials Needed For Sewing Quiet Book


After designing activity pages you will have good idea of what materials you need for sewing. Not all the pieces have to be sewn, especially very tiny felt pieces. Use hot glue gun or felt glue for them. It is perfectly fine and secure. With hand stitch pieces you will achieve special handmade look.

You will need:


 

How to Bind Quiet Book

There are two basic ways you can bind quiet book for toddlers:

  • with interchangeable pages using binder rings
  • pages sewn together

Here is the thing, with interchangeable pages you can insert and change pages as you wish. Stephanie from Imagine our life has a great step by step tutorial with photos of how to make a cover for the quiet book with rings.

While your child grows you may wanna add more demanding age appropriate pages and remove the ones he lost interest in.

I, myself, am a fan of second way which seems to be more durable and compact.

quiet book covers - binding quiet book

Furthermore, there is no right or wrong way, it just depends on your preference.

Vanesa G. at the ‘Lella Boutique’ blog showed a very simple way to put all pages together into the book. I would recommend that you follow Vanesa’s simple instructions for binding pages sewing.

Quiet book templates {FREE}

{Click on the photos to be taken to the posts for more photos and info.}

 

Quiet Book Ideas and free templates for making Quiet Book

 

Apple Tree Page with Free Printable Template

Quiet book patterns and ideas {for sale}

 

TIPS  – for Making a Quiet Book for Toddlers


 make cheat sheet!!!!!!  for sketch, materials needed, pages ideas 

  • think about theme and activity pages, make a sketch on paper if needed
  • collect all materials you will need before you start (huge time saver)
  • design pages before sewing
  • think about age appropriate activities and developmental milestones
  • always secure small pieces with extra caution as they may be choosing hazard (or completely exclude small pieces)
  • make pages which represent ’real life’ activities that will be valuable for developing child skills (e.g. zipper, buttoning, shoe lacing, braiding…)
  • be creative and use as many activities as you can include (e.g. with main intended activity (like picking apple page)  I usually add some details with flap, like hedgehog hiding behind grass, or birds nest behind the leaves)
  • make a KAM snap/velcro/button or magnetic closure for the book so it closes nicely and help you keep all loose pieces inside the book
  • to cut letters you may use a free template or use your judgment to cut them out of felt rectangles without template
  • keep in mind you don’t have to be an advanced seamstress, kids won’t notice the imperfection
  • to make life easier and save some time I recommend gluing tiny pieces rather than sewing
  • do not throw away felt scraps – keep them for other crafty projects, like stuffed animals or check out 101 ideas for using felt scraps

 

Bonus: Download a free worksheet to plan your DIY Quiet Book .

USEFUL LINKS:

 

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

  • Is quiet book washable?
    Yes, you can hand wash your cloth book in a warm water with mild soap. Rinse and do not squeeze too much. Lay it flat to dry. Please note, felt is shrinking and wrinkling under hot temperatures.
  • What size is quiet book for toddlers? normally quiet book for toddlers are approximately about 8×8 inches. It can be bigger if you wish. When choosing patterns be careful for page size are they ment to.
  • What is the best size for baby book? For babies I recommend small 5×5 inches book.
  • Can I insert new pages into my quiet book? If you bind the book  with interchangeable pages using binder rings you can insert more age appropriate or more demanding activities.
  •  How to fix broken quit book?
    Depending what is broken, you can always hand stitch fabric, replace thorn fabric or felt pieces or in some cases you may rather use hot glue.
  • Can I put more than one activity per page?
    Sure you can. You may be creative and always add hide and seek objects on regular ‘activity pages’. You may add numbers or letters on pages where you have more pieces (e.g. apples) or you can make same objects in different size or colours to get sorting activity.
  • I am not skilled at sewing, can I still make quiet book?
    You don’t have to be skilled seamstress for making busy book. Children won’t notice imperfection. On the other hand you can make whole quiet book without a single stitch. No-sew books are very popular too, here is a link to a complete no – sew tutorial.
  • How long it takes to make quiet book for toddlers?
    Unfortunately I can not give you an answer how long it will take you complete whole book. It depends on many factors, like sewing skills, materials you have on hand, complexity of pages and so on. For me personally, it takes from 20 min for easy pages to up to 2.5 hours for complex pages to make them. For cutting fabric pages it takes another hour and for binding 1-2 hours.
  • What is recommended age for quiet book?
     the bast  1.5 years and up, to 3.5 years. If child is younger than 1.5 year than I recommend making sensory baby book.
  • What is the best way to personalize quiet book?
    You can personalize book by adding name on front cover,or anywhere in the book,  spell my name page, or you can even spell name with one letter per page, like in this ABC sensory book, where I added objects on each page to match spelling.

 

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ultimate quide - quiet book for toddlers

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