Saturday, July 6, 2013

Busy Book/Quiet Activity Book

Over the past year I have been working on pages for a Busy Book for my daughter.  People also call them quiet activity books but I have too much Velcro for it to be quiet.  I used an 8x10 piece of white muslin as the front and back of each page and sandwiched a piece of white felt in between to make it more sturdy.  I had my mom embroider a cover and I used ring binders and rivets in each page so that I could take pages in and out of each book.  Although I love to sew, I found it easier to use felt (non-fray) and hot glue for most pages.  Now that I have two daughters I think this will work great because I can mix up the pages based on their development level and also mix them up to keep it interesting. 
I have been working with a few friends on some of these pages so some are from our group think, some from ideas on the Internet and some are my own.  Overall I think I have had the most success with simple pages (my daughter is only 21 months) that have a basic task.

Shapes:  This is my daughters favorite page and it has been great to teach her shapes and colors. 

Dog collar: This is one of my newest pages.  At 21 months she doesn't have the dexterity to buckle the collar yet but she likes playing with it.  I just used a cheap collar from Wal-mart and cut off the buckle.

Zipper: These zippers were short zippers handed down from my grandma (who upcycled before the term had even been coined).  The were a little rough, so I just covered them with felt which made them more bold looking as well.

Clock: My clock is a little crooked, and of course my 21 month old can't tell time, but I think this will be a good one for later as well. 

Apple Tree: A friend found these apples with the clothes pins on the back of them so we thought an apple tree would be fun.  We all did it a little differently, but I just left it so that they could be pined to branches made of twine.  This is another one that my daughter hasn't yet mastered but she likes to play with it.

Abacus: We are working on counting so this is a fun one.  Mostly though she just likes to slide the beads and look at the colors.

Pizza: The pizza one is a lot of fun, but with my type A personality I don't like the possibility of pieces getting lost.  We left the top part of the crust unattached so that the toppings can be stored inside the pizza.

Ice cream: Each scoop can be removed and placed on the silver holding spot or Velcroed on top of the cone.

Pie: This one is to be able to weave the pie crust.  Mostly my daughter just pulls on the strips of crust and pokes the balls ("cherries").

Button Flowers:  This also requires a little bit more dexterity, my daughter is good at pulling all the flowers off but not as good at buttoning them back on.  I also left the ribbon unsecured so that we can practice tying a bow later on.
Here is the outside of the book, I love the rings and that the pages can be removed and changed.


  1. Colleen this is so cute! Do you think I could make one without a sewing machine?

    1. Of course you could, if you used felt as the pages they don't require sewing. The only problem would be that felt stretches so you might want to glue a few pieces together to make it stronger. ;)

  2. This is so clever! I'd love to make some of these for my son :) Thanks