Friday, August 5, 2011

Button Book

As we began preparing for our trip to Minnesota, I started putting together the bag that every mother does before a road trip: the random assortment of new and/or novel goodies that will provide the little ones with entertainment and will be just perfect in the event that somebody is on the brink of a meltdown. (I do have to brag for a moment... the much-anticipated meltdown never arrived. A & E are roadtrip rockstars! They sang, they read, they snacked, they snoozed. It was downright enjoyable. And while we did arm ourselves with an iPad loaded with what would have been the girls first movie, it served us no purpose. In 3 years, the girls have seen KU basketball games on TV, old-school Pink Panther cartoons with Daddy, and less than 3 hours of anything else. They are not programmed to be entertained by TV and movies, which is exactly what we hoped for. We have one television in our house - in the basement - and we don't have cable. TV is just not part of our daily lives. The girls are programmed, however, to interact, make up silly songs, read to each other, and sight-see, all of which made this road trip a piece of cake.)

Back to the buttons... I did a little internet search for fun things for kids to do quietly and I stumbled across an etsy item: Colors Fabric Quiet Book. As usual, the first thing in my mind is "I could totally make one of those!". The next day, I bought some extra felt and fabric and started working. Since I was down to the wire on time, I skipped a lot of the nice detail work, such as stitching around the flowers and instead of sewing the fabric on each page, I just used craft glue. As an afterthought, I added a pocket and a miniature felt-board on the last two pages with some cut out ducks and frogs with a pond and a log. Here's what I put together:

So the idea is that the flowers on the cover can be buttoned and unbuttoned and then as you flip through, each page has a matching button for the flower to be attached to. I think it's brilliant and adorable. I was so excited for the button frenzy to get started in the car and, who would've thought, but the tiny frogs and ducks were a far bigger hit! I so wish I would have had a recording of the songs that were being created about these little critters. The imaginations of our girls are astounding - the ideas that they have, their ability to express their thoughts, and the animation and enthusiasm... it all just makes me happy.

I love opportunities to create a sense of appreciation in the girls for simple, handmade treasures. I am proud of John and I for sticking to our guns (and following some clear-cut research) in eliminating screen-time from the girls infancy and toddler-hood. And I think the way in which they used this button book beautifully demonstrates what a 3-year old mind can, and should, be doing. Throughout our vacation, the ducks made appearances. The frogs popped up. And the flowers were buttoned on and off, collected and distributed, attached to buttons on Gran's shirt, and used as a starting point for something wonderfully creative. Thanks for letting me share!

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