Difficult to say who needs a quiet time book more - a child or a caregiver. Imagine you and a child on a long flight or road trip, in a waiting room, in a church, at a family dinner - anywhere that you'd rather a child was quiet and not running around. The easiest survival aid would of be a tablet or smart phone, but remember that unpleasant feeling - a parenting guilt? Quiet time book is a great alternative to the screen time. It is a survival kit for caregivers that doubles as the educational toy for younger ones.
Quiet time books are traditionally thought of as that soft bundle of two-four pages for the littlest ones: lift a flap here, pul a ribbon there, couple different textures to touch, throw in a washer to clean. For my son, many of his friends, and even more of my clients I elevated the quiet time book to the grow-with-me educational toy. mastering button and all kinds of fastenings, buckles, and snaps enhence fine motors skills. Pairing, matching and sequencing is an introduction to math. Learning letters, numbers, colors. shapes - all that starts when a child is called an infant and grows well through preschool into elementary school.
Many people make quiet time books. Most of them recreate activities that became a staple for quiet time books. Some makes come up with their own ideas. Few of those some make facinating, clever, simply neat activities!
Step 1: Everything Starts With an Idea. and Materials
Today we are lucky to have an abudance of good quality materials: eco safe yet bright colored, natural or man made materials, all wood, all plastic, premade and precut or a wide variety of materials to make and cut out.
Making a quiet time book the first thing you need to remember of is safety. Every button, every element should be attached very safely - double stitched, glued and then emroidered over. Yet it always needs extra remining: always check those tiny details - it torn off they might be a chocking hazard.
And the fun part: the inspiration comes boh from the idea of every activity in a book and from materials themselves. Use felt and wooden numbers for counting. Metal and plastic snaps for a sensation of warm and cold. Rainbow colors or just one, child's favorite. When everything is layed out together it is a massive amount of elements!
Step 2: Mind the Developmental Stage
Making a grow-with-me quiet time book you need to remember that a childs interest will change with age. First it will be engaging to touch and fell, hear the dangling and ruffling, pulling, opening and closing. Later the interest in snaps and buttons will come, pairing and matching will mesmerise for an astonishingly long time. Yet there's a very important characteristic to consider: physiology of the vision development. Focus and tracking will come gradually. Full color vision will develop closer to four months. I will not recomend a book with tiny elements to a baby - it is definitely not safe, yet considering a black and white option is a good exersice for eyes development even at an older age.
Gathering materials for a quiet time books is like hunting for a treasure: the more you find - the more cool stuff you see. Yet please remember: it is impossible to fit everything fun and educational in just one book. It can always be one more book! So, let's gather our stuff together and build a book!
In the next episode: textiles options, indididual or sewn together pages, what stitches to use, and the main thrill - what should I make so a child likes a book and plays with it well before our wait is over?