Friday, May 20, 2011

Quiet Book Part 2

Here's the rest of Ryan's quiet book.

Treasure map and treasure chest with lock and key. This was pretty fun to make, although extremely laborious. Still, I liked the process of engineering the page – figuring out the best way to achieve the effect I want, figuring out how to cut the material and how to sew it all together. The chest has little sequins and beads sewn around the edge, which I felt gave it that special touch. The photo on the right shows the treasure map when you unroll it.

The key unlocks the chest and, inside the chest, you’ll find the pirate’s treasure and a secret message!

Fishing. Each fish has a magnet and can be fished out of the water with the fishing pole and put into the "net", which is a zippered pouch. The pouch is Velcro-ed on and also acts as a handy grab-it-all for when we need to pack up all the loose pieces quickly. Unfortunately, Ryan had to skip this page on our trip because the fishing pole didn't make it - Ryan was playing with it just before we left the house and I forgot to pack up the pole. 

Animals with interchangeable heads (Velcro on the back) – I got this idea from the internet as well. This was a hit with Ryan. He didn't need any explanation at all. I simply presented the page to him, with the animal heads all jumbled up. He instinctively knew what to do and rearranged them all on his own. I might do another one with different animals. Richard helped me to find pictures of animals and printed them onto printable fabric, which I then ironed onto the page.

Counting. The beads range from 10 to 20 beads on each line and Ryan counts them as he moves them across the string.

The facing page has cards with numbers, which can be used on their own or together with the counting beads on the previous page. The cards are stored in two boxes which I made from old greeting cards (I was inspired by the French fries box at McDonald’s). The boxes are Velcro-ed on and can be removed and reattached. The cards can also be laced/threaded onto the shoelace. I had to re-do these two pages after we got back from our trip because we left the book lying around after playing with it one afternoon and Max, our dog, ripped out some of the beads and chewed up one of the boxes.

Clothes line - a fairly standard page in quiet books. I modified it a little by having different sizes of pegs - the pegs present varying difficulty as you go higher up - the ones right at the top are really small and difficult. Great fine motor exercise.

Dress-up boy. The boy gets his clothes from the clothes line on the previous page. The clothes velcro on and off.

So that’s it. I still have ideas for further pages, but Volume 2 is going to have to wait a while. I need a good break! 

The pages are cotton (Richard helped me to cut them) and they are bound together very simply – with yellow tape! I was hoping to sew the pages together but I ran out of time. Actually, I think I’ll leave them like this, at least until they get roughed up. I did put interfacing/stabiliser in between the pages and, for the heavier pages like the counting page, I put a plastic sheet in between.

My greatest fear while making the book was that Ryan wouldn't play with it. Much to my relief, he was very entertained with it on the long flight to USA and, since we got back, he has still been playing with it happily. All that time and effort? So worth it.

The end.

Signing off on the inside back cover.


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