Tag Archives: quiet books

Busy Bag Madness!

16 Nov

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m a little obsessed with the idea of  “Busy Bags.”  I’m sure you have heard of them but if you haven’t, here’s the lowdown:

They are collections of little toys, activities, and learning that are put together and collected into bags, totes, baggies, etc., and are only used in desperate moments when you need your little one to be “busy.”  The concept is that because your little one does not have free access to this item at all times, it catches their interest, similar to the idea of a toy rotation.  These are great for church, doctor’s visits, car rides or those desperate moments when you would just like to shower without little ones banging on your door.

First, you know your kid best…buy things they will actually be interested in.  Second, I try to make busy bags out of things that have more than one use…so usually not a coloring pad unless I can get a bunch of them super cheap.  Third, some people keep it cheap and use baggies which would work great.  However, I want these bags to last through several children so I splurge and get the pencil pouches at Walmart when they are having their back-to-school-sale (less than a dollar each).

Here are a few busy bags that I did this week:

These are some mini dinosaurs that I added on to a purchase I was getting on the classifieds.  Less than a buck!  Whenever I am buying off the classifieds, I like to always check and see what else the seller is selling to see if there’s something small I can add on as a busy bag.

Next we have some Tic Tac Toe I got at the Dollar Tree.  Nothing special, but for a buck I’m sure it will be worth it’s pay.

Next I have some magnetic foam manipulative puzzles that I got off Oriental Trading when they were having one of their free shipping promotions.  If I have a fridge or magnet board nearby, great!  If not they can still put the puzzles together.  Great for learning fractions!

Next is a flip book I made about letters and shapes (I showed you how to make it in this post).  I included some stretchy colored rings that can be matched up to the correct colors.  I will probably add something to match all the shapes up with too.

Next is Three-Letter Word puzzle cards!  I got these added on to my purchase at a yard sale for free!  You can also buy them at the dollar store though.

Next is a simple white board I also got at the Dollar Tree.  I will probably add more to this busy bag later.

This is just a bunch of snowman Make-A-Sticker-Scenes that I got on clearance at Oriental Trading.  Good for when I have multiple kids with me (comes with 12 sheets).

Next is a magnetic dress up doll that I got at a yard sale for $1.  I was very excited about this find as I think dress up dolls are so cute!

Next are these cute hand puppets I got at the Dollar Tree.  I got about 10 of them so I will either add a story book and make a couple busy bags out of them, or just find a bigger bag and throw all of them in together.


These are some Christmas Pop Beads I got off Oriental Trading for cheap.  Maybe they need to be broken in, but they seem like they would be hard for a small kid to put together.  I’ll have to update you.

This is a coloring roll.  Like I said earlier, I usually don’t use one-time-use items in my busy bags, but they were on clearance at Walmart for $.30 so it was worth it to me to buy a bunch of them.



That’s all the pictures I have for now, but I will be sure to update as I finish more busy bags!  I’d love to get more ideas, so feel free to share some fun ones you have done, or link back to a particular blog post about busy bags.  What have been your most successful ones?











Quiet Books and File Folder Games the Easy Way

28 Oct

When I was an education major I made tons of fun file folder games for my future classroom/children.  When I got married and moved in to my new apartment I couldn’t find them anywhere!  I have wanted to start making them again, but as I repin a bunch of ideas on Pinterest I am reminded of all the time and money it took to make them.  I don’t know if I’m up for all the coloring and cutting.

I also have been obsessing over all of the Quiet Book ideas lately.  I did a post previously on no-sew quiet books, but I have discovered an even better way than magnets or velcro!  I bought a removeable sticker book on Amazon and noticed that the stickers easily stick to laminated pages!  This leaves me free range to create all the quiet book pages and file folder games that I want as long as I have removable stickers for them.    I found removeable stickers on Amazon, and also found a few at the dollor store (also called “window clings”).

What I liked about Amazon’s was it wasn’t very much money for TONS of stickers (over 150).  I can do an entire farm life quiet book with their “habitats” sticker collection, or they also have a “Pinkalicious” sticker book.

Melissa & Doug Habitats Reusable Sticker PadEyelike Stickers: OceanMelissa & Doug Dress-Up Reusable Sticker Pad

I really love the dress-up one as well…what little girl wouldn’t LOVE an entire quiet book full of dress ups?

The way that I do quiet books with laminated pages:  Design (I do mine very simply using Powerpoint) or print the pages that you are using, laminate them, and then coil bind the book (very cheap).  I then just add the removable stickers!  Easy!  And the best part is there is no sewing, cutting, or adhering magnets or velcro.

Some of my other quiet book posts: here and here

Tune in later for the pages I have designed to use with all these sticker collections (I’ll share them with you when I’m finished).

Printable Quiet Book

29 Aug



Finally.  Remember this?  Well….after many,many long hours and some professional design I own two quiet books that I absolutely LOVE!  I just put them in my Etsy shop, but I would like to give a couple away to my readers for free!  Keep in mind my blog is a fairly new one so your chances of winning are very, very, good (in fact depending on how things go I will probably give away several).  So here is how you enter the contest:

I hate contests that make you do multiple things that usually involve bugging your friends on Facebook, so no worries…there will be NONE of that.  All you have to do is pin or re-pin this post on Pinterest.  After you have done that, comment on this post: paste the Pinterest link as well as which quiet book you are interested in:  Farm life or Bible.  That’s it!  Contest ends a week from now: Wednesday, September 5th.

UPDATE!  This contest is going again for 3 more winners!  Ends Nov 15th.  You can also win one by commenting on this post.

Good luck and happy pinning!

If you don’t have a pinterest account, you can share this blog post on your OWN Facebook wall.

Here’s a mini sample of the pages (there are also 8 sticker/cutout pages that go with each page):



I hired my friend Hillary to do the Farm Life version.  She’s awesome; if you need wedding announcements or other design work, contact her!

No-Sew Quiet Books

14 Aug


I’ve become obsessed with all the cute quiet book ideas lately.  If you’re not sure what I’m talking about, go here.  While all of them are completely adorable, I’m not much of a seamstress.  So, I have come up with some ways around this obstacle.  I’ve tried magnetic quiet books, Velcro quiet books, and vinyl sticker quiet books.  All were a great success; however, if you are using it for church you might prefer the magnetic or vinyl since Velcro makes noise.

Here’s how I did the magnetic quiet book:

I get all excited about knowing I created something myself, so I just pulled out all of my scrapbook paper and started cutting out shapes  (I don’t have a cricut machine but this would be super easy to create your own pages if you have one)!  My main pages were done on card stock and then I applied magnetic paint primer to the back (you can find it online or at Home Depot).  I then laminated the pages and pieces and put magnets on the back of the pieces.  Here are some examples of some of the pages before I laminated them:







These are a few of my pages from my Bible quiet book, and then I also did a Farm themed one.

For a Velcro version you do the same thing except use Velcro rather than magnets.  Here are some cute examples of some that you can do.

For my vinyl quiet books I just found vinyl stickers that I wanted to use and made my pages to correlate.  What makes this awesome is you can find all sorts of vinyl stickers at the Dollar Tree (I bought letters, shapes, and various animals and people) Laminate your pages and the stickers peel off and stick to your pages perfectly!  Best of all they never lose their ability to stick; if by chance they get all grungy you can just wash them. Pictures to come soon.


Update:  This Quiet Book has been illustrated professionally and is now a printable!