Saturday, June 2, 2012

Quiet Book Pages

What's a quiet book you might ask?
A quiet book is a book- usually of fabric, but also possibly of other materials, in which each page or double page spread is an activity that a kid can do.  The idea is that this is a book to help kids keep quiet in places where they need to- the doctor’s office, an airplane, a restaurant, church, etc.

My busy bag group had a bunch of people interested in swapping these pages with one another, and then we split off and created a separate group- with probably about 25-30 people total.  We split into groups and end up making 6 or 7 pages of the same thing.  We keep one and mail the others out.

I have found that etsy is the key to my quiet booking.  I am only so crafty- but I am very willing to find things other people have made to incorporate onto my pages.  I figure that as long as I make the page and most of the stuff, I can still keep my “crafty credentials” and my group members will get much better pages- and on time, too!

For my regular group- meaning group with no theme- I have made 2 pages so far- an abacus page and a weather page.  The abacus page was very simple- beads on cotton yarn that I strung across the page (plain white cotton).   I used foam stickers on the sides and the top.

The weather page was much more complex.  For the background, I used blue flannel (felt sticks to flannel pretty well) for the sky, and then added green flannel for grass and a little felt house.  The hill is actually a pocket to hold all of the weather icons.

So, I first thought about what I wanted to have, weather-wise.  I decided on sunny, puffy white clouds, partly sunny, gray clouds, rain, lightning and snow.  I REALLY wanted to have an icon for ‘windy’ but couldn’t come up with any way of showing that easily.  I ordered the light gray and puffy white clouds and some of the snowflakes from a shop, and was very happy with them (the other snowflakes came from this shop:   The rest I made (including the blue-gray rain clouds- which I made using the other clouds as a template-  the shop didn’t offer them in a darker gray- just the light gray.)  For the sun, I just used 2 different sizes of mason jars for the circles- using chalk to mark on the felt.  For the rain, I used light blue yarn and sewed it onto the clouds. 
Here is a picture of all of the symbols, spread out over 4 pages.

One of my groups is an ABC swap.  My letters are B, H, M and R.  For B, I made a beach page with a “build your own sandcastle” activity.  I got the idea from a blog, here:  This woman is much more crafty than I will ever be.  I did not make mine exactly like hers- mine are single layers instead of double- and not as decorative either.  I found some felt seashells online and ordered them, as well as ordering the ‘B’ and ‘b’ from an Etsy shop,  I started with the templates from the Imagine Our Life page, drawing them onto a cereal box to cut and use as my templates.  I also added a “bucket” shape, because that’s part of sandcastles to me.  

My ideas for my other letters are as follows:
H- house- a big house with slits in it where little popsicle stick people can be inserted to be at the windows or behind the door
M- build your own monster page  (I thought I knew how I wanted to do this, but now am trying to avoid having 20 billion little pieces stored on the page, so am unsure.)
R- Race car/ race track.

My final group for April (yep, I got a little carried away that month) was a Seasons group.  Each of us chose a season to make a page of.  2 other members did “all seasons” pages as we had a group of 6 and no one wanted to double up.

I chose to do a counting page with leaves- as fall is my favorite season and I LOVE the leaves turning colors and falling from the trees.  So, back to etsy for my leaf shapes (  I got a large variety, because I wanted to mix the leaf colors on each page, instead of just having 1.  The page has a tree shape on one side, green patterned flannel at the bottom for “grass,” and numbers on the blue “sky” background.  The felt leaves can be stored in 2 pockets in the green flannel.  I used liquid gems to put dots on the leaves to match the numbers.  The numbers are just drawn on with permanent marker, since I am completely uncoordinated with fabric paint.

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