Quiet book planning – read this before making your next quiet book

So you have decided to make an actual quiet book.  Do you just go and buy some fabric and craft supplies and get started? Or do you put some planning into making a quiet book before you begin? (Hint: it’s the latter)

Don’t buy sewing supplies without a quiet book plan!

Starting a quiet book without a plan is most likely to fall flat on its face. At the very least, you might find yourself at a point where your initial excitement has worn off and you are left tired and without direction. You will give up on your project before even getting properly into it. Or you might ditch making the quiet book just before the final stages, for example making the dreaded binding. This would be an even greater tragedy because all your effort will amount to nothing concrete in hand at the end of it.

But fear not. Making a quiet book is really a series of simple steps. If you stick to these steps systematically, you will end up with a wonderful little quiet book for your favourite toddler. The steps to making it are easy, but you need to consistently put in small amounts of effort to fully finish it. A quiet book plan gives you a concrete road map to follow at times when you don’t have the energy or the will to complete your project. So before you start you next quiet book, be sure to read this and stay on top of your crafting game.

Who is the quiet book for? Know the child to make a successful quiet book.

This is really a no-brainer. you need to know who your audience is before making something for him/her. It need not be complicated at all: just a few details of the child’s name, age, gender along with a few other facts for example favourite colours, favourite things/toys, favourite stories, activities should be enough. This will give you some insight into what kind of a quiet book you will be making. A younger child’s quiet book will be quite different from a child who is six years old, for example.

For example I am about to start a quiet book for a friend’s little boy. These are the facts I noted about him.

A quick brief to plan a quiet book

So grab a paper and take a note of these basic things.

What kind of quiet book ideas are you looking for?

You need to know the child before coming to this bit: what kind of ideas do you need? For example a child who likes mermaids and unicorns might have an entirely different book as opposed to another child who likes cars and trucks.

For this stage of quiet book planning, Pinterest can be your best friend. Start searching for age-appropriate quiet book ideas that you can incorporate into your project.

Another great way to find age-appropriate ideas is to find out the age of the child, and then finding learning resources related to that age-group. For example children of ages four to five years are actively learning CVC words (C-V-C stands for consonant-vowel-consonant, for example mat, cat, dog, bed etc). If you can create a book that incorporates this kind of learning, you can be sure that it will be of huge value to the child. Sticking with the same example, you could Google “CVC words” for lists of such words. You could also check the Google images that show up for this result to find ideas of what you can create.

Where can you find your quiet book ideas?

We have already talked about the breadth of ideas to be found on Pinterest. But you can look for quiet book ideas in other places as well, for example Google. An advantage of Google is that you can afford to be more specific in your search queries. Besides, you can also find hidden gems in Google images which might not be present on Pinterest. Other great places to look for valuable ideas is real school learning resources like Twinkl.

It is best to keep a folder of quiet book ideas on your computer or a board on Pinterest where you can save all the images that you find interesting or relevant to the quiet book that you have in mind. If the board or folder is getting too big, you can sub-divide the contents into relevant sections. For example you could make a folder for Quiet Book Letter ‘M’ ideas or a board for Quiet Book Alligator Page. The more specific your folder or board, the easier it will be to find how to go about making your quiet book.

When do you want to finish the quiet book? Give yourself a timeframe

Give yourself plenty of time to work on your quiet book

Let’s face it: making a quiet book for toddlers takes time. There is a systematic series of steps that you need to take to create the final book. Trying to rush it too much can actually be frustrating and counter-productive. The best way to figure out how long it will take to create your quiet book is by doing some simple maths.

The table below lays out the exact series of steps you need to take to create your quiet book from scratch. It can help you figure out the minimum average time it will take you to finish your project. Of course the length of time will vary depending upon your sewing skills. But for someone who has basic sewing skills and has used a sewing machine a few times before, this is a handy starting point. The assumption is that you will be spending at least two hours a day working on the quiet book.

Note that the table is split up into different coloured stages of making a quiet book .

Purple steps are for planning your quiet book.

Blue steps are for creating the actual templates

Green steps show the cutting phase of the quiet book preparation. (Yes there is quite a bit of cutting!)

Yellow steps show you all the sewing involved in making the quiet book.

The final orange step indicates finishing off the quiet book to give it a crisp, professional finish.

Steps needed to make your quiet book

Follow one step each day to make a stress-free quiet book

Now that you have seen all the mini steps you need to take to make the quiet book, you will have realised that this page is all about the purple phase of making a quiet book: the planning. Hopefully this table will also help you chalk out a timeframe for your next quiet book. Assuming your quiet book has 8 pages, and if you work on the project diligently every day for around two hours, it will take you at least 30 days to finish your book. Of course you can group some steps together when possible to save time.

Even so, it is best to give any quiet book project at least a month before you want to gift it … ideally two months is a comfortable time frame. For example if you plan to make a quiet book for a toddler for Christmas, you would be best off getting started in mid to late September to give you plenty of time to actually enjoy putting the quiet book together and working through any hurdles you might come across.

Putting your quiet book ideas on paper

Once you have a collection of quiet book page ideas saved on your computer, you can now put your plan on paper. It doesn’t have to be fancy: just a rough draft of the number of pages and their contents is enough to get you moving on to the next stage.

A rough draft helps tremendously in planning a quiet book

For example here is a rough draft I made for my next quiet book, which I am making for a little boy named Sameer. I am making a simple personalized quiet book with one page for every letter of Sameer’s name. The front cover will have space for a little photo. On the back page, I want to incorporate an interactive toddler learning activity or a quiet book game, so I am planning to make a colourful shape-sorting page. Sameer can learn to identify shapes, colours, numbers as well as indulge in some lateral thinking by sorting out the pieces. I will have to be careful not to put any loose small beads or buttons in this quiet book as Sameer is very young and could put the parts in his mouth.

Conclusion ─ the next steps to making your quiet book  

Once you have scribbled down a rough draft, you are ready to move on to the blue phase of making your quiet book, which is creating the templates. You can find an overview of all the stages of how to make a quiet book here. Now go ahead and start Googling some quiet book ideas. Happy crafting!

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