Cloth Activity Book For Toddlers: How To Make One And Why

A cloth activity book, also known as a quiet book, is a creative way to teach children how to tie laces, do buttons, use zippers, and many more. It allows a child to practice their fine motor skills, forcing them to concentrate while playing. So, how do you make a cloth activity book for your child, and why do so many mothers recommend it?

There are various patterns and materials that you can use to make a cloth activity book. You can add anything from laces, letters, shapes, colors, and so much more. These books are perfect for furthering your child’s mental and physical development, and it keeps them busy for hours.

Not only is a cloth activity book great for children to learn, but mommies also need “quiet time,” and what better way to do that with a homemade, customized quiet book? This article will teach you how to make a cloth activity book and show you why they are brilliant!

What Is A Cloth Activity Book?

A cloth activity book is a fabric scrapbook that is filled with interactive pages. They usually contain educational activities that promote sensory stimulation and mental development in small children.

Many people refer to this as a “quiet book” because children concentrate quietly while they are doing the activities. Cloth activity books are customizable, so you can amend the pages to make the book age-appropriate.

For example, a cloth activity book for a small child of 1-2 years of age would contain different types of material and textures for sensory development, whereas a child of 3-5 years of age will be able to practice activities such as tying shoelaces, counting, associations, identifying colors and shapes, and even learning how to read.

A quiet book enhances a child’s fine motor skills, imagination, patience, creativity and helps to improve their auditory, kinesthetic, visual, and tactile inputs simultaneously.

What Does A Cloth Activity Book Teach Toddlers?

Depending on what you add to the pages of your child’s quiet book, they are perfect for teaching children things such as;

  • Opening and closing (a part of a design)
  • Removing pieces and putting them back on with Velcro
  • Gumption
  • Focus
  • Logical thinking
  • Spatial imagination

Let’s have a look at some of the best activities to add to your toddler’s cloth activity book. These include;

1. Numbers And Counting

Counting and numbers are one of the first things children learn, even before the alphabet. Adding a number section to your child’s cloth activity book is one of the most effective ways to teach them how to add, subtract and count.

How To Add Numbers And Counting To A Quiet Book

We all learned how to count on our fingers. Trace the outline of your toddler’s hands on a piece of the felt sheet (or any other material). Cut them out and stitch them on, or glue them to the page using a glue gun. Write the numbers 1 to 10 on the fingers from left to right. See the example below;

How To Introduce The Activity

Write the numbers 1-10 on small round sticker dots and paste them on your toddler’s nails, the same as on the felt hands. Show them how to place their correct finger on the corresponding number on the felt finger, starting with 1 (left-hand pinky finger). As they place each finger, call out the number they are touching and let them practice repeatedly.                 

2. Colors

There are so many fun ways to include a color page in your child’s cloth activity book. Colors are also one of the first things a toddler learns.

How To Add Colors To A Quiet Book

Trace the shape of a balloon on various colors of felt sheets. Cut out each balloon and glue a small string to the “opening” section of the balloon. Trace another set of felt balloons (the same as the first set).

Cut them out and use a glue gun to glue a small piece of Velcro to the backs of the second set of balloons. Glue small Velcro pieces onto the page where you will place the second set of balloons. Arrange them on the page (not in line with a corresponding color balloon).

How To Introduce The Activity

Show your toddler how to link a balloon with a corresponding-colored balloon by extending the string from one balloon to the other balloon. You can rearrange the right side of balloons any way you want. See the example below;

*You can replace the balloons with any shape you want

3. Shapes

Teaching basic shapes to toddlers is very effective with a cloth activity book because of the interactive activities. As we all know, practice makes perfect, and when your children do this activity repeatedly, they will know all the basic shapes in no time!

How To Add Shapes To A Quiet Book

Trace the outlines of the few shapes on the blank felt page in your child’s cloth activity book (you can use a Sharpie pen or a fabric marker). Trace the same shapes on a felt sheet and cut them out.

How To Introduce The Activity

Demonstrate how you place each solid shape onto the corresponding outlined shapes on the page. As you place them, say the name of the shape.

Repeat the demonstration a few times and hand the shapes over to your toddler to practice. You can also write out the words and associate the words with their corresponding shapes by linking them to the shapes with string. See the example below;

4. Alphabet

This is one of my favorite activities to add to a quiet book. Learning the alphabet opens up a whole new world for your toddler. It improves their vocabulary, teaches them to read, and let’s face it; every child loves the alphabet song!

How To Add The Alphabet To A Quiet Book

You will need two pages for this activity. You will require cut out felt letters for each letter from A to Z. Decide which images you want to use to represent each letter These can be paper or material letters) and glue the pictures onto small pieces of Velcro tape so that it is easy to stick them in the book.

You can make the letters out of felt, or you can do the same as you did with the pictures by gluing paper letters onto Velcro tape or felt.

How To Introduce The Activity

Scatter the pictures on the floor in front of your toddler. Place the letters in a bag or container. Place your hand inside the bag or container and pull out a letter. Place the letter on the page and look for the corresponding picture scattered in front of your toddler.

Place the picture next to the correct letter. Keep going until the pages are full, then remove the letters and pictures and place them aside. Continue to work through all the letters in a bag. See alphabet picture ideas below;

5. Facial Features

It is easy to teach a child the names of their facial features are. You simply place your finger on their nose, eyes, or mouth and say each name as you touch it. Showing a child how to construct a face in front of them is a bit trickier but a lot more fun!

How To Add Facial Features To A Quiet Book

Trace and cut out the face shape and all the face features on different colors of felt.

How To Introduce The Activity

This activity is easy to demonstrate. All you need to do is build the face in front of your child and then give them a turn. You could make it fun by adding a mustache, glasses, a hat, earrings, wool hair (different colors), and different colored eyes.

More Fun Things To Add To Your Toddler’s Cloth Activity Book

  • Braiding
  • Tying shoelaces and lacing shoes
  • Buttoning a shirt
  • Dressing a doll 
  • Counting beads (Abacus)
  • The four seasons
  • Using a zipper
  • Days of the week
  • Telling the time
  • Months of the year
  • Fastening buckles
  • Mittens (for them to slip their hands into)
  • Teddy bear in a sleeping bag

How To Make A Cloth Activity Book

You Will Need

  • A minimum of 1½ yards (45 inches) of fabric such as duck, cotton, light canvas, or denim
  • Scissors
  • A glue gun
  • Felt sheets
  • Basic sewing supplies
  • Fabric any kind
  • Batting for the inside of the pages (batting gives the pages some dimension)
  • Embroidering thread and needles
  • Various colors of cloth
  • Regular needle and threads
  • Sewing machine (optional)
  • Fabric markers/pens
  • Velcro brand fastening tape
  • Buckles
  • Buttons
  • Zippers
  • Eyelets
  • Shoelaces
  • Ribbons

Let’s begin!

Plan out which activities you would like to include in their book. Cut enough fabric for all the pages of the activity book. You can use any material you prefer (not too thick).  Create all the pages before you bind them into a book. This allows you to stitch other pieces of fabric to the pages easier, for example, a zipper or a button-up activity.

Make sure you include plenty of colors to keep your toddler interested and to make it more exciting. Artwork is either appliquéd or embroidered onto plain fabric.  Once you have completed designing and creating all the pages of activities, it is time to bind all the pages together.

Book Cover And Pages

To make a book, decide how big you want it to be and cut your fabric accordingly. Remember to leave a ¼ inch seam allowance along the edges of each page.

 Use your iron to turn under a ¼ inch hem on all the sides of every rectangle, press it flat with the iron, and remember to milter the corners. Cut out the same size of batting for the number of double pages you have.

If you use one solid piece of cloth to make a double page, fold the cloth in half (left to right) and iron on the crease to create a centerfold.

Stitch your pages onto a sheet of fabric using a needle and thread or a sewing machine. Cut out the double pages around the edges.

Place a double-page face up on one of the batting sheets, turn it over with the back of the batting sheet now facing up (as seen in the diagram below).

 Place another double-page face up on the batting; now you have two pages on either side of the batting.

Stitch your double pages together (with the batting in between) as the diagram indicates below;

Stitch the edges and leave a 4-inch slip open at the top of the double page. See demonstration below;

Cover Page:

Finally, arrange all your double-layered pages in the order that you want them and sew them together on the center crease. Well done! You have made your very own cloth activity book!

Conclusion

There is no limit on creativity, and this project is the perfect project to have fun with. A cloth activity book is a wonderful way to teach children the basics, and as they grow older, you can include activities that are a bit more advanced.

These books also make perfect gifts. There is just something special about hand-crafted presents. Almost as if it contains a little bit of magic.

Now that you know how to make a cloth activity book, you can start planning all the activities you want your toddler to enjoy. Your kids will be happy, and you can enjoy some peace and quiet!

Sources

Nora’s Homemade Cloth Activity Book | Andrea Dekker.

How to Make a Quiet Book from Your Own Design – DIY – MOTHER EARTH NEWS

Ultimate Quiet Book Guide: Everything You Need To Know About Busy Book For Toddlers (craftlearnandplay.com)

How to Make a Quiet Book for Your Toddler – Intentional By Grace

How to Make a Quiet Book – Includes 11 Inside pages (All NO Sew!) (powerfulmothering.com)

Similar Posts