Parents, have you ever heard of a Quiet Book? Also known as a Busy Book? It is a cloth book filled with fun activities that your child can play with… quietly!
My baby girl LOVES her quiet book!
BRILLIANT isn’t it? From making different Mr. Potato Head combinations to counting cupcake sprinkles to buttoning buttons to building sandcastles, quiet books help children hone their fine motor skills, review educational concepts, and encourages creative thinking all while keeping your child busy and quiet.
Um. Yes, please. (Go HERE to make your own!)
I’m not of the “children should be seen and not heard” camp by any means, but there are just times when you need them to be quiet– at a church service, or on an airplane. Sometimes, you just want something handy to keep them busy– waiting at the doctor’s office, or when you’re visiting with a friend that has no kids and no toys and you don’t want to truck a whole bag of playthings for your little one. THIS BOOK IS GENIUS! I seriously can’t believe I’ve never heard of it before!
It all started when I was at a friend’s place and spotted a homemade felt book lying on the floor. I flipped it open to have a look-see, and inside was a felt xylophone, with removable pieces velcroed down in the colors of the rainbow. How cute!! I turned to another page and saw a colorful felt page with surprise animals hiding underneath rectangular flaps. So much fun for a little one!
I wanted one.
I asked her where she got it, and was a little brokenhearted when she said she and some other friends mass-produced pages and swapped them to make the book. I was brokenhearted because I missed the boat! But I figured Etsy would be all over this, so I went home to see how much these bad boys were going for. And then I got some serious sticker shock: $200 for a 12-page book?! FOR SERIOUSLY?! There were individual pages going for $6-30, and even though I’m not a craftsy person, I couldn’t help but think… I could make that!
So I did.
I decided to suck it up and put on my organizer hat (which I am decent at, but usually do not enjoy*), and sent out an email to a few mommas who I thought might be interested. Some forwarded the message to some of their momma friends, and within a day, I had 14 commits. Wow.
Wow #1: That is a lot of pages to make.
Wow #2: …WE’RE GOING TO GET 14 UNIQUE QUIET BOOK PAGES! SWEEEEEEEEEEEEEEET!!!
I was super stoked! I reached out to Christy D., the original coordinator, got as much info as I could on how she organized it, and then got the ball rolling with my own group. Fast forward two months and… WE FINISHED! WE MADE 14 QUIET BOOKS!! AND THEY’RE AMAAAAAAZING!!!!
Here’s a detailed look at each beautiful page! I have no patterns for you, but you can find similar pages and patterns on Pinterest and/or Etsy. I will share how I made my felt chain links in a future post, since that was the one I did :].
*Can I just say that organizing this group of mommas was THE BEST ever?! They were so responsive, so responsible, so encouraging, and did such a beautiful job!! Everyone helped one another out, pooled resources, and wrote encouraging responses in email. I didn’t even know all of them (some were friends of friends) when we started, but I sure hope our paths cross again!
I divided my 14 pages into two books: one for babies (0-2yrs), and one for toddlers (2+). Since they’re bound with a book ring, I can easily swap pages in and out.
I present to you my Baby Quiet Book:
I just sewed down some cute fabric and stitched some lines across for a quilted look. Kinda messy. That’s how I craft =P
Cars and Stoplights
The stoplights are velcro, and my girl loves to rip them off and put them back on. The car slides up and down along the white ribbon. She is still learning that it’s not a rip-off item!
Ocean Scene with Sliding Fish
Check out the detail on those sliding fish, and the detail on that stitching around each fish and through the coral and plants! It’s a beautiful page, but I’m not letting her play with it until she understands the concept of sliding–not yanking!
My friend made this as part of our daughter’s 1st birthday present! Isn’t it gorgeous? Our girl loves to flip back to this page frequently to tickle (“Ticko ticko!”) the tentacles. It’s the cutest thing in the world!
Mitten with Snowball
I think these were meant to be mittens for outdoor snow play (comes with a white snowball hidden inside the mitten). Being a baker, I decided to pair it with the Apple Pie page so it looks more like a baking mitt 🙂 Babies can slip their hands in and out of these cute mittens!
Apple Pie Weaving
Also, not sure why I put this in the baby book instead of toddler, cause I’m pretty sure she won’t be weaving anytime soon… but at least it matches with the baking mitt! Not to worry: thanks to the book ring binding, I can easily move this page over to the toddler book anytime (along with the Hungry Alligator, which it is back-to-back attached to).
I really wanted a zipper in the quiet book somewhere, so I’m really glad someone made a zipper page! Isn’t this adorbs? Babies can unzip the alligator’s mouth and put the fish into the ocean!
Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head
Felt potato heads! I love it! There are so many combinations for this! Each of the pieces had Velcro glued onto it, which was just enough to make it stick to the felt. Also, the potato head itself is a pocket, so you can store Mr. Potato Head’s pieces in there while playing with Mrs. Potato Head’s pieces! Craftwise, this page requires a lot of cutting, but works well for the person who doesn’t sew!
Sandcastles on the Beach
How cute is this? I love the details from the stitching along the water’s edge to the little starfish to the double-backed pages. The person who made this included two sandcastle sets in case any got lost. You’d think people would try to do what was “easiest” or “quickest,” but clearly the group of ladies here gave their all– even with children/babies at home (or in the belly)!
…And that was just the baby version, folks.
Here are the pages for my toddler book!
This was the page I made. I liked how kids would be able to get some ROYGBV practice in while also developing fine motor skills as they fastened the snaps. I also included black and white strips for parents who wanted to teach their kids how to use colors (black, white, red, green, “gold”) to teach the Gospel message. More on that in another post!
Kids can practice counting with these flowers! The intricate numbers were cut out from a friend’s Cricut machine, and inside the flower pot is a second set of blue petals… just for variety. So thoughtful!
We had the option to choose a lace-up football or ballet slippers. I know we have a girl, but I couldn’t help but choose the football, because my own childhood was filled with a lot of football (and zero ballet). And I loved it that way. This is a fun way to practice tying laces! Plus, the football fabric is a super soft suede that even I love to rub!
This cute page allows kids to take clothes down from the line and put it into the white basket. I love the colors and multimedia!
Oh my goodness. That giraffe print. Could it be any cuter?! I also love the stitching detail throughout. The person who made it also told us we could switch the buckle to the other side, to develop both the right and left hands! Great idea!
This was Part I of my “party pages” :). Not only are the buttons hand-sewn down, but the buttonhole is edged all professional-like and everything! Great page for button practice!
Last, but not least… drumroll please…
Your child counts the number of sprinkles on the (removable Velcro) frosting and matches it up with the number written on the cupcake liner! This page literally took my breath away. Why? Because, guys, each of those “sprinkles” is actually a button that has been HAND-SEWN ON. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? (1+2+3+4+5+6+7+8+9) x 14 = 630 BUTTONS!! And I thought my chain links were a lot of work!! C. definitely takes the (cup)cake on this one (ha ha!)!
Amazing, right? Don’t you wish you had one? (Sorry to make you covet…) I’m afraid mine is priceless, though, so you’ll just have to make your own. Not the organizational type? NOT TO WORRY! I got your back! I’ve set up a post detailing How to Make a Quiet Book with a Group of Friends, and will post it for you soon, including email templates and resources you can use to head up your own group quiet book project! I just ask that you link my site and share the Cuppacocoa love :).
I am going to send this post to all the ladies involved in the project, so please show some love below in the comments! Which quiet book page(s) did you like the most? Which details do you love? Which one(s) would your child (or… you? ;)) enjoy playing with? Do you think you’ll ever make one?
Thanks for reading, and happy holidays!!
Quiet Books – 12/26/2014
I love your quiet books! I made something very similar for my 3 year old nephew for Christmas. I haven’t done the numbers and alphabets yet. Your book gave me some great ideas of how I might improvise to do them for my nephews book. When I saw this idea on a different web-site I just loved it. Yours turned out great. Thanks for all of the things that you share.
Thanks, Patti! So nice of you to take the time to make this for your nephew. I would love to receive one as a gift! It takes a tremendous amount of time! What a lucky guy (and lucky parents!! :)).
Wow, I have always enjoyed reading your posts since you launched it. With today’s posting, I like to comment I really like the details, they are very cute and thoughtful designs. What a group of creative ladies. Grace from Michigan
Thanks, Grace! I’m so glad you enjoy my blog and appreciate the details on these pages :).
I still have my quiet book my mother made me as a child. I remember spending many church services playing with it. Then my own children played with it when they were young. Someday I will have grandchildren who can play with it at my house! Mine was made before Velcro was popular, so my pages have snaps instead. That’s another option to use somewhere on your toddler pages.
You’re the third person who told me their mother made them a quiet book! I can’t believe people have known about this for so long and I’ve only just heard about it. She must have done a great job since it is lasting so many generations! Thanks for the suggestion– I did happen to use button snaps for my page (links), and it works well! I think it’ll be quite durable =).
Love it! So crafty and creative 🙂
I’m going to make one for my granddaughter!! Thank you for this post!
Ooh so ambitious! Are you going to do all the pages yourself? I have a post coming up on how to make a felt one, so you can check that out for ideas, too… especially if you have some other friends who may be interested in making one =).