What baby and toddler toy is quiet, educational, portable and can be crafted by you? A DIY quiet book filled with sensory experiences. It’ll keep your tot busy whether you need a minute at home or are trying to keep calm waiting at a restaurant or the doctor’s office. With just a few materials and a hot glue gun (that means no sewing required folks!), you can make an ABC-themed quiet book for your little one by following our simple step-by-step instructions.
Lots of colorful felt
Sensory materials such as paper, ribbon, yarn, fabric (optional)
Fabric scissors (or sharp scissors)
Hot glue gun and glue
Binder rings (you can find these at your local office supply store)
How to Make the Quiet Book
1. Start by making the book’s pages. We decided to create an alphabet-themed quiet book. Each page shows something that starts with the corresponding letter. For this theme, you’ll need 15 pages including the front and back covers, using both sides of the felt so the book won’t be too bulky. You can make the book as big or as small as you want – our example measures 5 1/2 inches x 9 inches.
2. Punch holes on one side of each of the pages. We used four holes on each page, but depending on the size of your book this can, and should be adjusted. This is where the binder clips will go through to hold the book together.
3. Lay out your book. Once you’ve decided on a theme, start laying out the pages you want to create and thinking about what will go on each one. We started by cutting out all of the letters of the alphabet, then we made a list of what we wanted to use to illustrate each one. Next, we planned out what color felt we wanted to use for each page. For example: We didn’t want to use a red page for “A” because we were going to create a red apple. You want your illustrations to stand out.
4. Cut out your pictures from felt and the other materials you’re using. You can make them as simple or as intricate as you want. Some examples: E for envelope (which actually opens so babies can put things in it), J for jeans (we actually used denim to make the pants), P for paper bag (we used a real paper bag for the crinkly effect), and R for ribbon (we tied ribbon together for this illustration instead of using felt).
Note: Think about sensory play when you are putting together your pages. Don’t just use one type of material, explore what other materials you can use like crinkly paper, soft yarn, or fabrics. It will enhance the book and the experience for your child.
5. Glue items to the pages. Once you’ve decided where everything should go in your book and made all of your elements, you can start gluing them onto the pages with a hot glue gun.
6. Put the book together. Place the pages in the order you want them and slip the binder clips through the holes you punched in step 2.
7. To finish, add a title to the front cover. We cut out letters from felt that spell out “My Quiet Book” but you can do whatever you want – add your child’s name or another picture you’ve made, for example. The possibilities are endless. Half the fun of this book is that it is personalized for your child and one of a kind.
Have you tried making a quiet book for your baby? What makes yours special?