I made the girls quiet books for church and also when we drive home from Utah in May Evelyn can use hers in the car. I got the idea from here, here and here. So this obviously isn't my origional idea, but I did alter it a bit. So far the girls LOVE them. They are ONLY for church, that way they don't loose their appeal. I mistakenly left our church bag on the floor in the laundry room and Cassidy found it and wanted to play with her book and was NOT happy when I took it away. Lesson learned. Hide them.
So a few things I did different: a) I used mini binders (about 7x9) instead of the regular sized ones. I decided to do this because I think the big ones are way too big for my kids' laps. The mini ones are perfect, Evelyn can hold hers on her lap without it being awkward. Cassidy is still too small to do anything in hers really on her own but it's a good size for me to hold while I'm holding her. b) instead of using sheet protectors, I laminated all my pages. I got my binder at Staples and they do sell sheet protectors for the mini binders, but I like the laminated pages better because then the papers don't move around inside the sheet protectors and when they are erasing the crayon the sheet protectors in tends to bunch it up, it doesn't do that when laminated.
So now onto the books. I took pictures of the girls in front of the temple and then also downloaded pictures from the LDS images website. I sent them to Wal-Mart to be printed (I printed them in 5x7 since I used the mini binders) and then laminated them.
I used this INCREDIBLE website for a lot of the activities in the books. The girls love love love these fun activities! The blogs where I got the ideas used magnets, like you buy on a roll, to attach things with, I have also seen velcro used, but I used Magnet Tape. This stuff is awesome! I like it better (for these books at least) because it is thinner than the magnets you buy on a roll so it doesn't make the pages as bulky. For all the matching games I put the game pieces in little baggies poked holes in them and used hole reinforcers on both sides to help them stand up to wear and tear.
Staples also sells a little plastic pencil pouch that fits the mini binders and that is what I keep our dry erase crayons and eraser/cloth in, they fit perfectly. I have found that the crayons erase wonderfully, but if you are having a hard time wiping them off, just use a wet wipe and it comes right off!
I love the way these turned out. As the girls get older or bored of activities in their notebooks I can just print new stuff out and exchange it. (A note on printing: the PDF files you can choose to print 2 per page and that is the perfect size for the mini binders, fyi). I am working on some new things right now for them (paper dolls!) that I'll update you about later.
These were really quite simple to put together, it took me about a week to gather all the files and print and laminate everything. I didn't make the covers thought until a few weeks later, but then those just took a day or two to complete.