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Toddler Busy Book

I made this busy book as a gift for my nephew. It was the very first busy book I’ve ever made, and I learned a lot from the experience. The binding of the book turned out to be more difficult than I had imagined, so as I look forward to making a busy book for my daughter I am definitely going to do a few things differently.

But over all I was very pleased by how the book turned out. All the pages are geared towards learning – either intellectually (alphabet, counting, etc) or for learning basic motor skills (zippers, ties, etc). And the best part is, there’s just so much fun to be found in this little book that it can keep the little one occupied for hours.

Cover Page

In my opinion the cover page of any book really sets the theme and over all impression of the rest of the book, so I really wanted the cover to be unique and intriguing. All it says is “Korbin’s Book” – but each letter is made to be textured and different. A zipper on the “K” . . . Buttons for the all the “o’s” . . . A bead for the dot of the “I” . . . other letters are made out of ribbon, elastic, felt, shoe laces, or glitter glue.

Spaceship Page

Since this book is for a boy I wanted the very first page to really have something that would strike a boys imagination. The earth, moon, and spaceship are all made of felt, and there is a ribbon that runs from the earth to the moon and is also strung through the “window” of the spaceship which not only connects the ship to the page, but also makes it possible for the spaceship to move across the ribbon in order to go back and forth between the earth and the moon.

The stars are made of a shiny gold fabric, and outlined with glitter glue for extra “sparkle”. I found it too difficult to shape the shiny gold fabric into stars, so instead I cut out star shapes from the black fabric of the page and just put the gold fabric as an inner lining behind the page, with the gold showing through the cut-out spaces.

Rainbow and Pot of Gold Page

I really wanted a page that had lots of different colors – since my nephew was at the right age for learning colors. My only regret is that this page doesn’t have any actual activity to do, but since learning colors requires interaction with mom anyway, I figured he could just play a “repeat after me” sort of game with mom and learn his colors that way.

This page has all the main colors on it . . . The colors of the rainbows (red, orange, green, blue, and purple), I left out the yellow from the rainbow, both for the sake of space and also because I wanted to use yellow for the sun. I have a light blue color for the sky, and brown on the grown. I added some pink flowers, since I wanted to get pink in there somewhere.

White and black are also key colors, so I have a white cloud in the sky and a black bot for the pot of gold.

And of course I didn’t want to forget gold or silver . . . I used shiny gold fabric again for the gold in the pot (and put a little cotton underneath to make it rise a little. I also used some gold glitter glue, since the gold has to be shiny and sparkly! For the silver I just used silver glitter glue as a boarder around the cloud and also a boarder to define the pot under the rainbow.

And since I had started using glitter glue already, I did a touch up on the rainbow as well, adding some glitter to each of the colors of the rainbow.

Gone Fishing Page

My husband had fun testing this page for me and assures me that it is “kid-worthy”. The bottom wave of this page is a pocket where I have a lot of little felt fish tucked inside. The boat at top is also a pocket, where the fisherman can put the fish he’s caught.

For catching the fish I just have a long string with a piece of sticky velcro sewn to the end. The velcro piece sticks to the felt fish really well, giving the effect of catching fish on the end of a fishing rod.

Counting Page

If I were to do this page again I would want to use a thicker ribbon for attaching the beads. I found that the beads were a bit too heavy for the thin ribbon I used, but unfortunately at the time that was the only ribbon I had. It worked over all, but the string of beads sagged a bit more than I had wanted.

Apart from that I was pleased with how this page turned out. It’s very simple, but for a little one who is just learning how to count, it is helpful to be able to handle the beads and move them across the ribbon while counting each one.  

Alphabet Page

Another very simple page to make, but an interactive way to learn the alphabet. Each letter is a “flap” – on the outside is written the capital form of each letter, and when you lift up the flaps they reveal the lower case letters underneath.

I used glitter glue for making all the letters – so this page didn’t take long to make at all.

Matching Shapes Page

Along side learning colors, counting, and the alphabet, I just HAD to have a page for shapes too! For this page I used paint to make the colored shapes on the page. I also made matching shapes out of felt, which are tucked inside the pocket of the page. The pocket was one I cut off of an old button down shirt.

I tied each of the felt shapes to a strip of ribbon so they won’t get lost. The activity of this page is to pull the felt shapes out of the pocket and match them up to the shape pictures that were painted on the page.

Tie the Shoe Lace Page

This page is perhaps a little advanced for my nephew yet but I’m sure he’ll “grow into it”. The page is meant as a way of practicing tying shoelaces. But until he’s ready for that he can just enjoy the fun of “untying” the laces and let mommy be the one to keep tying it up again. Plus, this shoe is an actual pocket, and I was careful to make it big enough that he could actually put his foot inside the shoe if he wanted. What little boy wouldn’t enjoy that!?

Button Flowers Page

Having a button flower page is pretty standard for busy books, but I think that is because it’s such a brilliant idea! Looking back in hind sight I think a boy might have better appreciated a truck picture with wheels that can be buttoned on and off . . . but since I didn’t think of that until after I finished the book my nephew will just have to develop an appreciation for flowers.

Zipper Lady Bug Page

This page is my personal favorite. As a child I vaguely remember playing with a book that had a lady bug page similar to this one. I don’t remember anything else about that book, but this one particular page really made an impression on a young mind. There’s just something really fun and intriguing about unzipping the lovely lady bug and pulling out all the little babies. I made 6 little baby lady bugs that all fit inside the big one. It may not seem like much to an adult, but playing with baby bugs can be loads of fun for a toddler!

Mailbox Page

This page is one that basically gives the child the opportunity to draw or write. The first page is a mailbox which has an opening for “letters” . . . The second page has a pocket for holding a pencil and another pocket that holds sheets of paper that are the right size to fit inside the mailbox.

Car Play Mat Page

This page is all boy! Give him some road and a few vehicles and he’ll be busy for quite some time! The garage on this page is a pocket that can store all the vehicles when not in use.

The vehicles themselves are made of a thin cotton fabric that I drew on with permanent marker. They are glued to a felt backing, which gives them more durability.

I hope you’ve enjoyed viewing this project.

If you want to see my other busy book projects you can view them here:

Keturah’s Busy Book

Mouse in the House Busy Book