Everything You Need To Know About Quiet Books [Quiet book ideas and useful tips to get you started]

Preview: Everything you will ever need to know about quiet book in one place: from how to make a quiet book, quiet book patterns  and useful tips to some great quiet book ideas. 

What made me make my first quiet book

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If you are a parent or grandparent who thrive to create engaging activities that will encourage creativity and imagination, making a quiet book comes as a logical choice.

When I first discovered quiet books I got excited with idea of making one from scratch. Fabric book filled with engaging activities that allow to play and learn at the same time seemed like a PERFECT toy. Activity book pages that can be customized and adapted to child’s developmental stage sounded like the best alternative to electronic games.

And, it turned out, it is. I witnessed kids playing with a quiet book for hours, and they never get bored.

I commited to share my knowledge among women who like to make things and help them in raising creative open minded children.

My quiet book was first book that I’ve made after weeks of searching for ideas and patterns, planning and figuring out how it is done. But, I loved the process of making and I fall in love in what quiet book represents.

After that I made many different quiet books and designed my own patterns. As a result I’m sharing my experience and knowledge here 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 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, you can implement anything your child has affectio for. 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

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 busy book for toddlers

Plan your theme and pages in advance.

Bonus: Download a free worksheet to plan your 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 quiet book ideas on Pinterest . 

Related: The One And Only List Of Quiet Book Materials You Will Ever Need

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 ideas for activity pages

These are just some quiet book ideas that can easily be make with basic sewing skills. Easy enough for making first quiet book.  As you may notice there are many 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.

It is important to now that there is no mistakes in sewing quiet book, just your creativity and ideas.

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.

Most common quiet book material list:

  •  sharp scissors
  • thread in variety colors
  • felt sheets and felt scraps
  • fabric of your choice for pages (I recommend cotton fabric)
  • Embellishments: ribbons, buttons, KAM snaps, eyelets/grommets, laces, yarn…
  • VELCRO ( I always use sew on because it is more durable)
  •  freezer paper for precise cuts (optional)
  • binder rings (optional)
  • sewing machine
  • hot glue gun and/or felt glue

In my post The One And Only List Of Quiet Book Materials You Will Ever Need I cover everything from supplies for transferring pattern onto felt, cutting, gluing, sewing crafting activity book pages to materials you need for binding quiet book.

Binding a 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 - busy book for toddlers

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 patterns 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

Shop Quiet book patterns 



TIPS  – for Making a Busy Book for Toddlers

  • 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 snaps/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 quiet book.




          • 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 is recommended quiet book size? Normally quiet book for toddlers are approximately about 8×8 or 9×9 inches. It can be bigger if you wish. When choosing patterns be careful for page size are they meant 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 quiet book page?
            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 busy book for toddlers?
            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.

If you find this guide useful and know someone who could benefit from it, or just like you is searching for engaging kids activities, please take a moment and share this with them. Thank you.


ultimate guide busy book for toddlers or quiet book for toddlers. Find everything, from how to start making a quiet book, where to buy quiet book, most common sewing tips and DIY quiet book tricks and tons of useful links for quiet book patterns and pages. Click now to get useful information now.


Lily Zunic

I believe every person is creative and every craft project is beautiful when you create for the journey of your heart.


  1. Kristine | 4th Aug 20

    Thank you for recommendations they are very helpful.

  2. Loretta Atherton | 12th Feb 19

    I was looking for patterns to make a “quiet book” for a great grandbaby to be born soon.

  3. Sonya | 1st Oct 18

    Thanks so much for putting this together

    • Lily Zunic | 1st Oct 18

      You are very welcome Sonya.

  4. Alaa Ramadan | 15th Apr 18

    You are amazing ^_^
    I’m soooooooooo happy to read all these useful information in one place <3
    thank you so much
    Allah bless you

    • Lily Zunic | 15th Apr 18

      Thank you Alaa, so glad I could help 🙂

  5. JoJo Tabares | 4th Apr 18

    These are adorable! Makes me long to be a grandma. Hoping one day soon. Thanks.

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