One of the fondest memories I have growing up was playing with the big red quiet book my mother made for us kids. It would keep us quiet in church. It taught me how to tie a shoe. It helped me learn my numbers. And it was sturdy and strong, lasting through all 7 of us kids. And now the grand kids are the ones to enjoy.
Last year, while visiting my parents, my son Jimmy (who was 2 at the time) was enthralled with the book. I loved how it kept him so busy (and quiet) as he learned about so many different tasks- buttoning, zippering, matching, snapping, tieing, and more. Having so many brothers and sisters (all of whom adore this quiet book), I knew it was a fat chance it would get passed on down to me to use with my own kids, so I decided, I was going to make my own. I took pictures of each page of my mom's quiet book and then made patterns for cutting the felt. I mostly copied pages from my mom's book and added a few ideas of my own. I made it for fairly cheap in regards to all the supplies (and I have a ton of suggestions on how to do so).
It took quite a bit of time, but it was such an experience to make. I couldn't help but think as I was slaving over my sewing machine, ripping out seams and changing thread, "I wonder if this will be something my kids will try and mimic someday just as I am trying to mimic my own mother's book?" and "would these little buttons someday be fondled by my grand kids?"
My mom gave me a lot of great pointers as I created the book. She encouraged me to make sure each page was teaching something, and fostering imagination. I see some of the quiet books out there on the market and think they lack the whole learning/teaching factor. That is what keeps the child entertained- something that keeps their mind churning and learning.
I encourage everyone to make a book like this. And that is why I am sharing it with you all via this blog. I think I have something great to share- my mom's quiet book has lasted 35 years so far and is STILL in good functioning order, so if you put the time into this, you should have something that really lasts and will be worth so very much (in a sentimental way) to your kids and grandkids- more than you can imagine.
So have fun bouncing around this blog, leave me a comment or two and let me know your "quiet book story", and what great ideas you come up with.
Feel free to email me if you have any questions. You can reach me at fowlerfam at gmail dot com. Happy quiet book making!!!
PS- as I get this blog up and running with pictures and instructions and all, you may notice it being under construction and only partly finished. Please feel free to follow this link to the quiet book page on my family blog in the mean time and see a few pictures there if you just can't wait: http://fowlerfam.blogspot.com/2008/02/quiet-book.html