Guest Post by Haifa Thajudheen from Paper Batter Banter and Tutorial by Esha from Quiet Books, Canada
Quiet books or busy books have become a rage now, a highly in-demand toy, for toddlers and preschoolers. Quiet books are made of a compressed fabric called FELT and these books contain many quiet activities to entertain young children. The activities can vary from shape/colour sorting, dressing up a doll, moving beads to develop fine motor skills, braiding hair, other activities to promote sensory development, creative thinking and imaginative play. The possibilities are endless with this crafty activity book.
I was completely oblivious to the versatility that felt could be used for. I had started Paper Batter Banter with the aim of creating personalised crafty gifts and while browsing YouTube for craft ideas, I came across videos about Quiet books – different patterns and templates. When my 6-year-old son watched with me, he instantly showed interest and asked if I would buy one for him. Hence I began learning more about Felt Toys.
A few advantages of Quiet books:
- No Plastic Wastage.
- They can not hurt kids (when they are thrown about or tried to fit in the mouth) or adults ( when they are stepped over – Bye LEGO & its siblings)
- They’re super easy to carry & store. They aren’t bulky and do not take up half the space of the toy storage box, compared to the number of activities a single felt book can offer vs. a box of toys that get strewn about everywhere. They can be neatly stored in a cupboard/bookcase, hassle-free.
- They can be made age-appropriate. For toddlers, activities that help to improve their motor skills can be made. For older kids, they can be themed on a cartoon or animation series, or revolve around themes like parts of the body, morning routine, etc. that encourages imaginative play along with subtle ways to impart discipline and at the same time be educational.
- If you are a hands-on crafty parent, you can definitely make them on your own, according to what new skill you want your child to learn, or what interest of your child you want to be explored.
- Versatility – not only with respect to how they are used but also in terms of size! They could be single foldable sheets, elaborate books, books with interchangeable pages so that the child doesn’t get bored of the same activities etc.
- If taken care well, they are pretty durable and can be passed on to the next child. Little stitches that need repair can be taken care at negligible cost.
- They’re QUIET! How often are we alarmed with noisy guns, cars with music blaring, or wands with blinding lights? These quiet books are perfect for travel to keep them kids busy.
- No wastage – the scraps can be used to stuff toys.
- Develops skill, imagination, and self-expression. Since the toy doesn’t ‘do’ things on its own, it promotes ‘learning by doing’.
Another project I did was a Frozen themed busy book for a local client.
A step-by-step tutorial to make a Frozen-themed busy book by Paper Batter Banter
- I first made a mock-up of what I planned to do so as to show the idea to the client. Click here to watch the video of the mock-up.
- Once the client approved the idea, I started working on the project. (Since I don’t have individual pictures of the activities on each page, I’ll walk you through it)
- The first two pairs of pages are a ‘dress up Elsa/Anna’ activity. The right page has the head and body of the princesses and you can interchange the hairstyles and attire between a casual outdoor & the princess’ gowns.
- The next pages contain ‘braid the hair’ activity where I used wool to create their hair and the little girl could practice braiding which also happens to be my favourite page(s).
- The next few pages are the ice castle & a snowy backdrop where Olaf could be built in any fun position.
- The ‘stick on’ elements has the ‘hook’ side of Velcro sewn or glued to their underside. This holds on to the fibres in the felt material.
- The elements of each page were sewed on to individual A4 felt sheets that were then sewed together with the right sides facing up, on all 4 sides. I arranged them in the right order and punched holes through all the pages & tied them up with a ribbon to suit the theme.
- We finished with the pretty girl’s pretty name on the cover, which was a shiny icy blue. I guess that shade of blue helped pull it all together.
To watch a video of the above project, click here.
A Picture and Video Tutorial by Esha from Bundle of Joy/Quiet Books – Canada
The next picture tutorial is a page containing shoes with lace encouraging the kids to tie the shoe-lace themselves thus increasing motor skills and manual dexterity. A very easy-to-do tutorial!
A video tutorial
I hope these give you some ideas to choose the kind of activities for a busy book that would interest & excite your child. Happy felting!
Where to buy ‘Quiet Books’ in Doha?
3 – Quiet Book
4. Booky Wooky