We pride ourselves on having Gracen be a well-seasoned traveler. By her first birthday, she had completed 15 flights, most of which were cross-country and logged thousands of miles by car and train. But on our flights to and from Boston a few weeks ago, in became apparent that after a child's first birthday, you need to be far more strategic with long flights.
After googling toys, games and strategies to keep kids entertained while traveling, post-after-post revealed these homemade "Quiet Books" with felt-based activities centered around the age and ability of each child. Retailing for over $200 on Etsy, most super moms make their own - YouTube is filled with great tutorials in every language under the sun! A true labor of love, many moms admit to spending 10-40 hours per book!
As we had anticipated flying back East to my cousin's wedding this weekend, I pulled a few inspiration pages from Pinterest and raided my mom's craft room so that I could quickly pull together something for the flight (that we are no longer taking-ha!). At first I tried the no-sew approach but quickly learned that would be impossible - little fingers tug far too hard for a mere matchup of felt and glue gun.
Hand-stitching the essentials, I made four pages:
1. Color/Shape Match has velcro adhesives that allow Gracen to match colors and shapes, counting the edges. Using pre-cut felt shapes from Target, this was by far the easiest page as it took relatively few stitches to adhere.
2. To learn and practice numbers, the lower right page has felt numbers and an abacus-type system with tactile beads for her to count and move along a string (not pictured)
3. The lower left Garden-themed page has a removable worm to play make believe with that tucks into th epocket. All of the flowers also unsnap and can be mixed-and-matched or hidden in the pot-pocket, flexing her pincher grip and creativity.
4. The upper left was an old gingerbread cutout I found in my mom's craft room that we are using as a paper doll. Since taking this picture I've created four outfits (that will be stored in a bag attached to another page) and multiple bows/hats that all velcro on - bringing out Gracen's inner fashion designer for NYFW!
This book is just a work in progress, will be sure to share the finished product once I bind using grommets, build out more activity pages and the cover!