Also, I have terrible photography skills, fyi. Please forgive me as I work to improve them.
Today, I'm going to be sharing the Army busy book that I made my boys. My husband is in the Army Reserves, and hopes to get active duty within the next year, so the Army is a big thing around here. My boys know cadences, love to go rucking with their dad, play airborne ranger, and dress in camo constantly. Because of all this I felt that a busy book (or quiet book, whichever you prefer) dedicated to the Army would be a perfect fit. My husband helped me brainstorm ideas, so here's a big thanks to him for his help!
I used a really thick Pellon for the pages. I'm hoping that they will stand up against the test of time, and the test of boy children. In some of these pictures I have the captions written, but some I don't. Sorry for that.
The cover. Oh, the cover! How I struggled and cried over this. My sewing machine does embroidery as well, but it only has a range of 4", so in order to make long words (read, anything over two letters together) I have to rehoop and then get it to match up. As you can tell that didn't work very well on two of the words. I'll improve it later, but I wanted to get this post up before too long. And I'm still learning how to do embroidery, in fact I'm taking a class on it tonight! Hopefully that will improve my skills.
First inside page: ribbon ordering. In the military on the dress uniforms (the ones they wear to be super fancy) you pin your ribbons, aka awards. I don't remember the names of all of these ribbons. The second on from the left on the top is the Iraq campaign ribbon, then the Army Service Ribbon, then the Global War on Terrorism *mumble, mumble, mumble* ribbon, and the Silver Star. On the bottom, the second one in is the Medal of Honor, then there's the *mumble, mumble*, and then the Afghanistan Campaign ribbon, and the Purple Heart ribbon. I sewed a piece of velcro onto the page and then glued the other side of the velcro onto each ribbon.
Next is the pants page; no it's not a party ;). I cut up one of my husband's old uniforms into a pair of pants and added a belt that I had in my stash of sewing stuff.
I used the idea of a bead maze made out of knit fabric from one of my favorite blogs, Pieces by Polly. She used it in a quiet book made from baby clothes. Go check it out! I drew a maze on a piece from an old t-shirt and then sewed it on the page, making sure to sew on the maze lines and include the bead (the bead is the bump down at the bottom, it's incredibly hard to see but it's there).
"Keep your LT safe; buckle his helmet!"Very self-explanatory page. I colored the 1LT bar onto the helmet after sewing it on.
This is my absolute favorite page. Hopefully you can tell that it's a parachuter. It's a threading game to help with those fine-motor skills. Neither of my boys is old enough to do this yet, but they will be soon. The guy and the parachute are made from felt and I used my sewing machine to put six eyelets in each.
This is my least favorite page. I had such a hard time putting it together. It's supposed to represent a Army Combat Uniform blouse, but it ended up just being a really wonky rectangle with a zipper and a velcro tab on the top. Ugh, I really want to redo it, but my husband won't let me cut up any more of his uniforms; spoil sport, hehe!
These didn't stay turned when I uploaded them to Blogger, so forgive me for that. This is a representation of a ruck sack. I sewed a huge snap on it for little fingers to practice snapping things. The large piece of velcro on the bottom of the page will hold little things to be put into the ruck sack. My printer ran out of ink so I'm waiting for that to finish the page. I'll be doing things like a canteen, a little folded uniform, boots, and a map. Things that every Army man needs to pack around. I've captioned it "Help your LT pack his ruck!"
I want to add a puzzle page with pictures of guns cut into puzzles that they have to assemble. And I'll probably add even more pages as I dream them up. I punched holes in the pages and have them put together on rings, so it's super easy to add more. As I add more I'll add to this page. I'll also update the ruck sack when I get my printer some ink.