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  • Pinay Physician Mom DIYs 'Quiet Book' to Help Toddler Son Avoid Gadgets

    And it only cost her Php500!
    by Kitty Elicay .
Pinay Physician Mom DIYs 'Quiet Book' to Help Toddler Son Avoid Gadgets
PHOTO BY courtesy of Aimee Paguntalan
  • Parents are aware that giving children excessive screen time can lead to negative effects, including Screen Dependency Disorder. But cutting back on screen time use is still easier said than done, which is why moms and dads are constantly looking for ways to entertain their child without resorting to gadgets. For mom Aimee Chriselda Paguntalan, what worked was creating a quiet book for her 23-month old toddler, Addi.

    What is a quiet book?

    A quiet book is a book made out of fabric or felt filled with activities for children. It’s designed to keep children entertained during special moments when you want to keep them happy but toned down, for example, when going to church, during car rides, or when attending events. Parents can also use it when they want to take a quick break!

    A quiet book hones a child's different skill sets like fine motor and cognitive skills. It also touches on sensory play, a kind of play that lets your child explore through the stimulation of one or several senses — touch, hearing, smell, sight, and taste.

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    Aimee, who is a physician by profession but chose to put her career on hold to focus on her family, discovered quiet books while browsing through an online shopping site. In an interview with SmartParenting.com.ph via Facebook Messenger, the 35-year-old mom shares that she has been reading books to Addi since he was 4 months old. “One time, he was curious and accidentally peeled one page of the book we were reading. So I searched for cloth books on Shopee.”

    She found a quiet book that she liked, but it was a little pricey and only had a few pages. She continued her search online and saw YouTube and Pinterest links with DIY versions. “I watched different DIYs and decided to make my own so I can put all the things that I want in one book,” she shares.

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    How to make a quiet book 

    Aimee shared her DIY quiet book on Smart Parenting’s Facebook group Smart Parenting Village and gave fellow parents an idea of how she made it. First, she used felt cloth for the book and its pages. “Meron sa Shopee — different sizes and thickness. Meron rin sa SM Stationery section, pero bond paper size lang,” she wrote.

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    For the activities, she bought foam letters, numbers, and various designs. “Most materials, sa National Book Store or SM Stationery Section ko lang binili. Meron din sa Shopee para mas mura,” she shares.

    Aimee tells Smart Parenting that she spent more or less Php500 to make the book. “Some materials are bought while some are recycled, like the shoelace page,” she says.

    Here’s how the cover looks like

    Of course, the book has her son’s name, Addi, on it with a bike made out of felt cloth “kasi mahilig siya sa bike. Mana sa tatay.”
    PHOTO BY courtesy of Aimee Paguntalan
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    Aimee used a snap button for the hands on the clock so her son can rotate it. Not only will it develop his fine motor skills, but it can also be used to teach him how to tell time as he grows.
    PHOTO BY courtesy of Aimee Paguntalan
    One of the pages aims to teach Addi about colors. Aimee used felt cloth and popsicle sticks so her son can match the colors by putting a stick inside a pocket that is of the same color.
    PHOTO BY courtesy of Aimee Paguntalan
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    The book also teaches Addi about numbers! Here, Aimee created an abacus using beads and strings.
    PHOTO BY courtesy of Aimee Paguntalan
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    Learning how to tie shoelaces is important for developing the following skills: hand-eye coordination, fine motor skills, visual and tactile perception, and getting both hands to work together.
    PHOTO BY courtesy of Aimee Paguntalan
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    Aimee made the letters removable so Addi can match big and small letters and learn the alphabet at the same time.
    PHOTO BY courtesy of Aimee Paguntalan
    The parts of the face are removable so Addi can learn its names and complete the face.
    PHOTO BY courtesy of Aimee Paguntalan
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    Aimee placed a magnet on the rod so Addi can have fun “fishing.”
    PHOTO BY courtesy of Aimee Paguntalan
    Aimee even created finger puppets for her son, which she can use for storytime.
    PHOTO BY courtesy of Aimee Paguntalan
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    Aimee used bottle caps as car wheels so Addi can learn how to open and close bottle caps. This looks simple enough but helps with fine motor skills!
    PHOTO BY courtesy of Aimee Paguntalan

     

    There are other pages in the quiet book that teach Addi different skills, including personal hygiene and dressing up. There are also zippers and buckles that help develop Addi’s pre-writing skills.

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    Fun ways to develop a child’s curiosity

    Aimee with her son, Addi.
    PHOTO BY courtesy of Aimee Paguntalan

    Aimee shared that it took her six months to finish the quiet book. “I am a hands-on mom to my son, and I am also a breastfeeding mom. He prefers direct latching so the only time that I can work on the quiet book was when he was asleep,” she shares.

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    The mom adds that all the time she spent creating the book was worth it. Not only does it keep him busy, but he also learns about different things like shapes and colors without the need for additional toys (for example, shape sorters). Most of all, it keeps him away from screen time.

    “Me and my husband, Allan, who is also a physician (internist), have agreed to strictly follow the no screen time rule for my son up to two years old. [That means] no television, iPad, cellphone except for video calls from aunts and grandparents,” Aimee shares.

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    Apart from this quiet book, the mom of one says that reading has really become their favorite bonding activity. “I started reading to him while he was still in my tummy and he has now developed a love for books, especially those with sounds,” Aimee shares. “Now that he can talk, he is the one requesting for which book to read!”

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    Aimee also offers other activities like basketballs and other toys to keep her toddler amused.  “We sing and dance and play musical instruments like the piano and drums. I even printed out coloring pages so we can color together,” she shares. All these ensure that Addi is hitting all his developmental milestones and growing up healthy.

    Aimee thinks that while she’s a creative and resourceful person, any mom can come up with the same DIY quiet book for their kid. And they can modify it according to their skillset. She says, “There are different ways to make it — like sewing the parts together — but I am not into sewing so I chose the way which is easier for me: I used a glue stick!” If it’s for your kid, anything is possible!

    Share your DIY projects with us — we’d love to feature them on our website! Message us on our Facebook page or email us at smartparenting2013@gmail.com.

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