Honestly i can't remember how much i played with it, but i think it is a fabulous idea for little ones to teach number, colours and encourage motor activity. Especially because our family will likely travel a lot i thought it would be a great activity book for the car or plane.
To be honest i started it like 6 years ago, before i was had kids... or was married! What can i say, i love being creative and thought that some kid would enjoy it one day. So i found it in a box half finished (thankful for that!) And just finished it last night :) I thought i would share it with you and document it... just in case one day it gets 'toddlerized'!
I made the pages out of duck cloth or thicker ivory material. For the cover i selected a fun colourful print that i found in our 'scrap material' box.... Most of the pictures are made with felt and random other accessories like zippers, buttons, snaps and velcro. Here's a little on how i made each page:
The Front Cover: I hand cut the letters out of black felt and stitched them on with a sewing machine (zigzag stitch). I called it "My Busy Book" because i can already tell... my kids aren't going to be quiet! But here's to hoping this keeps them busy :)
Meet Mrs. Ladybug: She has a zipper in the back and 3 baby ladybugs inside (with 1, 2 & 3 spots respectively ;) My little guy already loves giving the babies away to another adult in the room!
Flower Garden: Made completely of felt and buttons... the flowers can be detached and rearranged and i think we'll use it to talk about colours :)
Mr. Goose: well... maybe it should be mrs. anyways, the goose has a purple ribbon which can be tied and untied. Some of the other books have shoes to tie... but since most kids wear velcro shoes these days, i opted for the goose.
Apple Orchard: The apple tree has 5 apples (felt) that can be detached (velcro) and put in the basket and put back on again. The basket is a fun corduroy material.
Mr. Butterfly: I don't know if butterflies can be male or female... but this is a 'feely fingers' page where each material in his wings is a different texture.
Classic Counter: I used beads on the counter and a silky string so they could slide well... not sure if little man will try to rip these out of the book. I guess we'll see ;)
Choo-choo: This page is for counting the wheels on the train and i'm still planning to write the #'s 1-10 under the wheels... the wagons are made of different patterns of material, as are the clouds. The wheels are made out of buttons.
Colour time: The colour circles are made out of felt and secured with velcro (which turned out to be a pain because we had to sew it on to make sure it wouldn't get ripped off and it had a sticky backing... in retrospect i wouldn't use the sticky velcro but just sew velcro right on!) Props to my mom for helping me sew the velcro and snaps to finish the book!
Shapes: The shapes are made out of felt and attach with a snap to the page (where there is the same felt shape secured (see the diamond). The pieces can be stored in the pocket.
Bubble Guppies: That's my son's favourite show and what he says when he sees this page (guess you have to watch it to know the entire show takes place under water... even the airport & 'outerspace' episode which my husband finds weird...) The fish bowl is made out of blue felt and i cut the fishies different shapes and they are secured by their eyes which are buttons :)
Piggy Bank: I found this online in someone else's book and loved it! I still need to make coins out of grey felt... right now i'm using buttons which won't work long term because they fall out of the book. He's stitched all around but there is an opening where the button is to make deposits and his butt is open to take them out :)
Mail Box: Loved this idea which i also found online. The mailbox open and closes and has 'letters' to my kids in it (which i still need to finish). This page is made out of material which was a lot more work than the felt because i had to double the thickness and turn everything inside out then double stitch to prevent fraying...
The book i found online also had a really cool dress up page where the paper... well felt dolls have a suitcase with different clothes! Love this idea but found it took close to the end of my project and making clothes seemed like too much work. Also love this woman's use of different patterened fabrics with each page... maybe i'd try that next time... if there is a next time.
This book took me probably 36 hours (or more!) to make... collecting the materials, planning it out, cutting, sewing. But i love how it turned out and hope my kids enjoy it for years to come! I finished the pages using a Serger (which does an AMAZING job) then hand stitched them together on the train page (middle of the book).