An introduction to Busy Books
A Guide to Busy Books
Busy books are Montessori inspired educational toys made from felt. They are also known as quiet books, sensory books, or activity felt books.
These books feature several pages of activities that are appropriate for babies, toddlers, and preschoolers.
The activities help young children practice newly acquired skills, gain confidence, and learn new skills. Often, the pages include activities for fine motor skills, sensory stimulation, pretend play, and various educational concepts.
The pages are often interactive and allow for play across multiple pages, and out-of-book play. The book and pieces are made of soft materials such as felt or cloth. This makes them suitable for young children. In addition, they are safe for in-car play.
Age Recommendations for Busy Books
Busy books are designed for young children up till 6 years old. A good busy book is specially designed for the stage of development your child is at.
Babies aged nine months and above can benefit from specially designed books with larger features and more sensory elements. This provides them with the right amount of stimulation and entertainment without becoming too much. Larger parts are also easier for your young toddler to hold and train their palmer grasp.
That said, we always recommend adult supervision for children under the age of 3. More advanced activities can also cater to children up to age 6. These activities can include more complicated pretend play, social play, alphabets, numeracy and mathematics, and problem solving activities.
Benefits of Busy Books
Let's outline some of the benefits of busy books for your child.
- Busy books are designed to be self-contained. This means children can play with them on their own without needing much help from adults. Encouraging independent play is a key benefit of busy books. This can help foster a sense of independence and autonomy in children.
- Busy books help develop fine motor skills. This can include manipulating small objects or activities such as buttoning, zipping, and tying. Practicing activities regularly can help children improve their fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination. These skills are essential for activities like writing, drawing, and using utensils.
- Stimulates cognitive development: Busy books often contain activities that challenge children's cognitive abilities, such as matching, sorting, puzzles, and problem-solving. Engaging in these types of activities can help stimulate cognitive development and improve children's focus, problem-solving and critical thinking skills.
- Busy books encourage open-ended thinking, pretend play, creative thinking, and imaginative play. They offer different scenarios through the pages and lots of opportunities for cross page play or out of book play. Pages may have a main theme, but they are not restricted to it. This gives children the opportunity to use their imagination and explore.
- It can be beneficial to offer children screen-free activities. This provides a quiet activity in our increasingly screen-filled lives. They provide a peaceful, stimulating activity that can be done anywhere. Electronics and Wi-Fi are not needed.
- Busy books are lightweight and portable. This makes them ideal for long plane or car rides, providing entertainment on the go. They are also safe for in-car play as they are made from soft felt.
A Good Busy Book
A well designed busy book is specifically catered to the stage of development your child is at. It should offer a variety of activities.
These should include activities your child is still learning, as well as those they may already be good at. This will give your child the opportunity to practice and build their confidence. It should unclude activities that allow room to learn or that the child has yet to master. Activities should also be designed in a way that allows open-ended play and creative thinking.
Ideally, this should be the goal for the activities.
Busy books are a great investment as they are fun, educational and can keep a child engaged and entertained. Any parent or caregiver should consider buying one.
A busy book is an excellent screen-free choice for young children. It is ideal for long trips, helping them to pass the time. Additionally, busy books offer children the chance to develop important skills and abilities.
Thank you for reading our first blog post. We will be posting more frequently.
Our next post will focus on how busy books can help with the development of your child in specific areas.