A belated Merry Christmas to you all! I’ve been running around like mad so haven’t had much time to blog over the last few weeks but hope to remedy that going forward.
One of the things I was working on in what felt like every spare minute from mid November to Christmas was a “quiet book” for the boys. Oh, who am I kidding, Toddler Boy will have destroyed it long before Baby Boy is able to play with it, but in my head at least it was intended for both of them so I’m not obliged to make one for Baby Boy next year
What is a quiet book, I hear you ask??
I hadn’t heard of one either, until I came across various examples on Pinterest having followed one too many Related Pins one day. The idea is its a felt or cloth book of cute activities for your baby to play with, which will ideally keep them quiet while you’re out with them at a restaurant, church, etc.
Here are some of the gorgeous examples that inspired me to have a go:
I ordered a whole load of felt and embroidery thread from Hobbycraft.com and threw myself in headfirst! It ended up being more fiddly and time consuming than I naively expected up front, and as Christmas was fast approaching my pages got sloppier and sloppier lol. I kept telling myself, Toddler Boy is two, he is not going to notice or care! So don’t worry, I’m well aware there are plenty of things I could have done better with this but I’m still pretty chuffed with how it turned out..
Here’s the end result:
Most of these are pretty recognisable, apart from the item on the top right which Toddler Boy thought was a tree, my sister’s boyfriend thought was some cabbage (?!?!) but was actually meant to be a bunch of grapes.
This is basically a blank forest scene for him to tell stories on. The bottom page is a big ‘bag’ holding various characters like the three little pigs and big bad wolf..
… And some random jungle/safari animals. In theory I could make some more characters to add to this page. We’ll see!
Shapes and a ship:
The ship is attached with some thread for safekeeping and can sail between the layers of blue felt. I tried to make some artistic coral for the seabed using some leftover felt from the “animal print felt” multipack I’d bought to get the giraffe, tiger and zebra prints for the safari page.
Brushing our teeth:
These teeth leave a lot to be desired, it has to be said, but I was running out of time so couldn’t spend too much time making individual teeth etc! He seems happy enough playing with it though, usually singing the tooth-brushing song (“this is the way we brush our teeth, brush our teeth, brush our teeth, this is the way we brush our teeth early in the morning / before we go to bed” – when you have small children your life turns into a musical. It’s the only way to get them to do anything boring!).
Hanging out the clothes:
Some mini-pegs and a bit of twine made for a pretty decent attempt at a washing line! He doesn’t quite have the dexterity to use the pegs by himself yet, but he’ll get there. I stitched through the coil of each peg to secure it to the clothes line, as they are quite small!
Five little monkeys:
I have to give credit to my sister here, as she drew out the template for the monkeys and cut out most of them to save me some time!
Toddler Boy loves the song about the five monkeys jumping on the bed, falling off and bumping their heads, and the doctor who says “no more monkeys jumping on the bed!”, so I really wanted to use that concept for one page.
I left the back cover blank as there wasn’t time to do anything with it anyway, and for now the binding just consists of a few looped stitches through all the pages, like a thread ringbinder. At some point I may implement a better binding .. But I wouldn’t count on it! In my head this project is good enough for my discerning two year old, so I’m done with it!
If you’re toying with the idea of making one for a child in your life, I’d say go for it! It’s different, it’s sentimental, and if you know what the child enjoys you can fill every page with something they’ll love!
Here’s Toddler Boy enjoying his:
(Yes, he is trying to brush a little pig’s teeth. My child..)
Penny for your thoughts: have you ever made one of these? I’m curious to know how well it’s likely to hold up over time and whether anyone else considered making ongoing improvements/additions once it had been finished! As always, please feel free to leave a comment with your thoughts!