If you are thinking about making a quiet book, it can be hard to imagine where to start crafting. But after creating a number of different busy books for kids of family and friends, I have learned that the best way to start making a quiet book is to first consider the child.
To start making a quiet book, first locate your child on the table of Child Developmental Stages. I created this table using information provided by the NHS Scotland. Now print out my free Quiet Book Planning Tool and start scribbling down your quiet book ideas on the thumbnails. You can use Pinterest for inspiration.
A few years ago, before I had started using these resources, I had been approaching my quiet books in a very random manner. I would just go onto Pinterest and look at the images that attracted me the most. Then I would just create and bundle some quiet book ideas together into a book.
But I realized that these books were not going down very well with my girls who were toddlers at the time. It was really frustrating because I had spent weeks crafting! I just could not understand why my girls were not engaging with these quiet books.
I stumbled upon the reason after observing my girls more closely and how they were interacting with these busy books. And I realized that there was a mismatch between the contents of the quiet book and their age.
You see, some pages of my quiet book were too easy and therefore boring for my girls. Other pages were too tricky to use and would frustrate them. This ended up with my quiet books not being engaging enough. And it almost seemed that all my hard work had amounted to nothing.
Kids by their very nature are very forgiving. They will not care whether you have stitched a line neatly or whether you have properly sewn on the buttons. But if the activities inside a quiet book do not match their understanding level, they will lose interest fairly quickly and put the quiet book aside.
Taking wisdom from health experts to plan your quiet book
I started looking into how I could improve the contents of my quiet books. And I came upon some wonderful resources which have been created by the NHS Scotland. (The NHS stands for the National Health Service, which is the United Kingdom’s free health service for all citizens. It started in 1948 and treats over 1 million patients every 36 hours).
The NHS has laid down in great detail a child development timeline, which tells you the different stages of a child’s development according to age. It is a fairly long document and if you are looking for ideas related to the learning abilities of the child, it can take a while to sift through all the information.
So I condensed relevant information provided by the NHS into one little table. You can see it below. Now the process of planning my quiet books has become so much easier. Let me show you how.
How to start making a quiet book in 3 easy steps
1. Locate the child on the table of child development stages
Say for example you want to make a quiet book for a 3-year-old. Begin by looking at the table and find the slots for kids ranging between 3 and 4 years. You can see that toddlers of this age can differentiate between colors, do basic jigsaw puzzles and also undress independently.
Just looking at this information can give you ideas for some wonderful, bright, colorful, interactive quiet book activities which will be perfectly suited for the age of the child.
2. Look at relevant ideas on Pinterest and pin them onto a separate quiet book board
Now go on to Pinterest and look for related activities suitable for this age range. If you don’t have a Pinterest account, I would highly recommend that you create one. It only takes a few minutes.
Create a separate board in there titled Quiet Book Ideas and start pinning your favorite relevant ideas. Now you have a folder full of relevant ideas (not random ones!) that you can put inside your quiet book.
But how do you go about laying out these ideas inside your quiet book anyway? This is where my Quiet Book Planning Tool comes in.
3. Print out the Quiet Book Planning Tool and scribble down the layout of your quiet book
Before I came up with the Quiet Book Planning Tool, I would layout my quiet books very haphazardly on random pieces of paper. I would often lose these pages and start all over again. It was all very unorganized and frustrating.
And so I came up with the Quiet Book Planning Tool. Over the years, this has been a huge help in helping me start making my quiet books. You can find the PDF file here.
It is very easy to use the tool. Simply print out the PDF file. Now look at your quiet book Pinterest board and start scribbling down rough thumbnails of your favorite ideas onto the little squares.
Think about the kind of front cover and back cover you want your quiet book to have. Now scribble those down too. Tip: it is a really good idea to have the child’s name on the front cover. It makes the quiet book so much more special!
And so just like that, on a single sheet of paper, you can plan out a complete quiet book with 10 different pages along with the front cover and back cover. The best thing about the Quiet Book Planning Tool is that it takes all the guesswork out of where and how your quiet book pages will sit.
If you want to make a quiet book with more pages, simply get multiple prints of the PDF file. I have talked in greater detail on how you can use these printouts. It is good to take a look at how these multiple pages will sit together to create a complete quiet book so do take a look at that here.
Once you follow these three simple steps, you are already well into your quiet book making journey.
The next step in making your quiet book
The next step in making your quiet book is to decide upon the size of your pages.
The page size is not just a random number that you simply pull from the air. In fact the quiet book page size depends largely upon the age of the child.
I have done a detailed post on how you can determine the best size for your quiet book pages. It will really help you pull together your quiet book plan so do take a look at it here.
I hope this has been helpful. You can find a detailed video on how to start making a quiet book on my Youtube channel here.
Now all you need to do is switch on your printer and print out the Quiet Book Planning Tool.