We just got back from our first family vacation as a family of four. I was pretty nervous, since we were traveling with two under two, but the boys did really well. We spent over twenty hours in the car, so I couldn’t be happier with how the experience went.
Over the last few weeks, I started looking up quiet books. In case you aren’t familiar with quiet books, they are books filled with different activities to keep your child’s attention. I thought that would help make our dining experiences more pleasant on the trip, since we would be waiting a lot at restaurants.
I saw many creative quiet books online, thanks to getting lost in a pinterest time trap, The only problem was that the quiet books were mainly sewn. As I am not much of a sewer, I tried to figure out what I could do instead.
I saw several awesome quiet books on etsy, but they were a little out of my price range. After that, I thought about using felt or magnets, but then I came across a laminated quiet book. At that point, I was pretty short on time, so I decided to just do that.
My laminator is actually in storage right now, so I used sheet protectors for the activity pages. I also bought self-laminating sheets to laminate the pieces that went with each activity page. I used velcro to attach the pieces, but I did see a tutorial online where they used magnetic paint on the activity pages and then adhered magnets to the backs of each piece. The velcro doesn’t really make it a “quiet” book, so if that is what you are looking for, you might want to go a different route, like with magnets. I didn’t need the book to be quiet, so the velcro worked fine for me.
Since the pages were in sheet protectors, I also bought a flimsy binder and put the sheets in there. What I liked about that was you could choose an activity for your child to do and just take it out of the binder for them. I bought dry erase crayons at the store, and they were a hit! The activity pages could be marked on, and then erased.
The last page was Baa Baa Black Sheep, so the sheep was colored several different ways.
Five Little Monkeys (the monkeys can be placed on the bed, or on the velcro next to the bed)
I also had “C is for Cookie” (where they feed Cookie Monster), and “Noah’s Ark”, both of which I found online. Most of the clip art I found was from teachers pay teachers.
Here are things I love about the binder:
- I can add pages, instead of creating a new book
- I can take specific pages out, instead of having to bring the entire binder (also helpful if more than one child wants to do an activity)
- it’s easy to make (a huge plus for those of us who can’t sew)
- you can use crayons with it (dry erase are especially handy, but you could still use regular crayons)
- easy to customize for different ages
The binder was really helpful keeping my toddler busy during the wedding reception we were attending on our trip. Even though it took a while putting the pages together, it was time well spent! If you have made a quiet book for your child before, I would love to hear about it!