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LOOK! Mom Created A Quiet Book To Keep Toddler Busy And Away From Gadgets
PHOTO BY Courtesy of Ocel de Guzman-Montaño
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    Though some cities have eased up on allowing children to go out and exercise around their neighborhoods, some parents are still understandably cautious and would prefer to keep their children indoors. Problem is that the little ones are slowly getting bored and moms and dads can’t help but wonder whether the lack of interaction is affecting their social skills.

    Mom Ocel de Guzman-Montaño, 38, a member of our Smart Parenting Village, is one of those parents. After observing that her 1-year-old son, Liam, was slowly losing interest in playing with his toys and books, she thought of ways to keep him busy and avoid screen time.

    Her solution? A DIY quiet book.

    What is a quiet book?

    Liam's quiet book is personalized with his name on the cover.
    PHOTO BY Courtesy of Ocel de Guzman-Montaño

    A quiet book (also called busy book) is a soft book made out of fabric or felt and filled with activities and games that children can engage in. Apart from helping them learn and practice new skills, it is especially helpful when you want to keep them happy but toned down.

    Ocel is a licensed physical therapist, so she knew her toddler would benefit from a felt book that touches on sensory play. This kind of play lets your child explore through the simulation of one or several senses — touch, hearing, smell, sight, and taste.

    How do you make quiet books for toddlers?

    These animals are too cute!
    PHOTO BY Courtesy of Ocel de Guzman-Montaño

    Ocel admits that she could have easily bought a quiet book online, but the options she found didn’t really appeal to her. “There are lots online and they are all good, but there is this feeling na it didn’t satisfy what I wanted,” she shares in an interview with SmartParenting.com.ph.

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    She decided that she will just make one for her toddler. “Something that will be appropriate for his age. Maybe that’s what inspired me to create the DIY felt book — [knowing] the satisfaction and the joy it will bring to my son,” Ocel says.

    It took Ocel some time to make the quiet book. She ordered most of the materials online, so she had to wait for it to be delivered, plus there were days that she was filled with chores and was tired from taking care of her baby.

    “Nung una parang trial and error. Nag-search muna ako sa Pinterest ng mga pictures ng animals, ng themes, and activities para may idea ako. Mas madaming colors, mas maganda. Mas eye-catching,” she says.

    Here are the materials she used:

    • Felt (non-woven, multiple colors)
    • Glue
    • Glue stick
    • Eyelet puncher and grommets
    • Wooden buttons (assorted design)
    • Rubber string
    • Velcro dots
    • Twine string

    She chose to draw the animals freehand even if there were downloadable patterns available online. “Nag-drawing muna ako sa bond paper ng animals as pattern saka ko siya tine-trace sa felt,” Ocel shares.

    She adds, “Mabusisi sa umpisa pero ‘pag gamay na, diretso na sa felt — wala nang pattern-pattern. Tapos gupitin mo na siya at i-assemble.”

    Her tip: Use a scissor with curved edges, which are helpful if you’re cutting curves or circles.


    Liam's favorite activity is the fishing game!
    PHOTO BY Courtesy of Ocel de Guzman-Montaño


    One of the pages of the book featured a fishing game. For this, Ocel used grommets as eyes for the sea animals. “Dahil metal siya, mag-s-stick don ‘yung magnet (of the fishing pole),” she says.

    “Dun naman sa mga sasakyan, ginamitan ko siya ng rubber string para makausad sila. Huwag kakalimutan na lagyan din ng butas sa magkabilang dulo ang mga sasakyan para mag-move sila,” Ocel advises.


    A rubber string allows movement for the felt cars.
    PHOTO BY Courtesy of Ocel de Guzman-Montaño


    One happy toddler


    This quiet book teaches so many skills to her child.
    PHOTO BY Courtesy of Ocel de Guzman-Montaño


    Overall, Ocel spent around Php1,500 to Php2,000 for the quiet book. Though it took her a while to finish it, Ocel says the “pagod” is worth it.

    “He was jumping in excitement and wanted to open it right away,” she shares. “He didn’t even take his afternoon nap because of enthusiasm. Seeing his priceless smile, all the hard work paid off.”

    Up to now, Liam is kept preoccupied by the quiet book and his favorite games include the under the sea fishing game and the farm animals finger puppets. Ocel says, “Happy si baby, happy si mommy!”


    The bright colors and cute characters will stimulate a child's senses!
    PHOTO BY Courtesy of Ocel de Guzman-Montaño


    Looking for more DIY projects to inspire you? Click here for a list!

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