This weeks’s blog post is brought to you by Jessica Trotter. Jess is a mom of three including twin boys just a little younger than our own. She introduced us to Quiet Books and wrote a full description of how to make your own. All you need is a little time and a few friends. The final product is a personal book that will keep your little ones occupied. It’s probably geared more to children under two, but really that all depends on how creative you want to be.
If you and your mommy friends are feeling a bit crafty and are looking for an activity you can make for kids, a quiet book is a perfect project. What is a quiet book? It is a book filled with wonderful learning activities and is usually made out of fabric. Quiet books are a perfect on hand toy to keep in your diaper bag just in case your little one needs to be occupied. Perfect for church, restaurants or even when you are visiting a family or friend home where they may not have any toys. They are also particularly great to have on long road trips.
Making a quiet book can be a bit of a time consuming project so getting some of your friends to help out is a great idea. Instead of trying to think of ideas for all the pages and all the materials you need for each page, hosting a quiet book swap is a perfect way to accomplish your task, save some money and sanity while providing a great new crafty toy for your child. The idea is to mass produce one quiet book page, then everyone gets together to swap pages so that everyone gets an awesome collection of unique quiet book pages. This is a great craft to do with people who are crafty at all levels. While quiet books are ideally sewn, a mom who doesn’t know how to sew can easily use hot glue to put their pages together.
First thing you should do is enlist all the moms who are interested in participating. 10 moms means making 10 pages or 14 moms is 14 pages you will need to duplicate. If a mom wants two quiet books because she wants each of her twins to have their own or each child who are close in age, that mom is responsible for making 2 different sets of pages to pass out. This way no one is left out and every child has their own book. Give everyone about a month or two to complete their page and always check in on how they are doing. A mom’s life can be pretty busy so it is always nice to give a gentle reminder that the swap is coming up.
Give your group some rules to make sure that each page will fit together properly in a book form. Let them know how big their pages should be. It is also good to let everyone know to leave 1” on each side of the page blank so that each parent can choose how the book should be bound together whether that is sewn or bound by metal rings. A good rule is to have everyone use 9-inch by 12 inch stiffened felt as opposed to the floppy felt or sticky felt. This helps make the pages mores more sturdy for tiny hands to turn.
Have each mom let you know what page idea they decided to do so that you can avoid multiple activities with the same theme. There are tons of ideas you can find on pinterest.com and some even have easy patterns you can copy. Another unique and fun twist is to have a quiet book theme. Such as everyone makes a page that has to do with counting or learning colors. Felt is a great fabric to use for creating your activities but don’t be afraid to other fabrics or materials as well. Keep in mind the ages of the kids participating so that you are not using small pieces that they could easily put in their mouth or swallow. Make sure that all small pieces are securely bound to the page.
To keep the motivation going, have a couple mom’s night outs where everyone can get together to work on their page. Bring the wine and some good yummy treats. This is a great opportunity to show what you are working on and even get some help. It is also great to get together so that if there is a craft tool you are missing chances are another mom may have it. And to be honest, every mom likes the opportunity to get away for a bit!