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, http://shop.katscrappiness.com and was very happy with them (the other snowflakes came from this shop: http://www.etsy.com/shop/bbdsupplies.) 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: http://www.imagineourlife.com/2012/03/24/sandcastle-quiet-book-page/. 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, http://www.etsy.com/shop/funandsimplefelt. 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 (http://www.etsy.com/shop/bbdsupplies). 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.