Learn how to make a cute calendar busy book for little ones! This fun and interactive calendar is compact and simple to make using my free printables!
Hello Crafty Friends! Today I’m super excited to share a new way you can use my calendar printables – by creating a calendar busy book! I created a new set of printables I am sharing for free that will help you create your own busy book. It is a cute and compact calendar that is interactive and fun for little ones.
The entire calendar can fit in a binder and is a great size for children to interact with. The book doesn’t take a ton of supplies to create, but there are a few tools that will make the job much easier. A paper trimmer will speed up the cutting process A LOT. You can definitely cut everything with a scissors, but a paper trimmer will be faster and create very neat cuts.
Laminating the pages also makes a big difference. Laminating will help the busy book last longer and it makes the pages sturdier so they won’t rip or tear as kids stick and remove things from them. After using self-laminating sheets for years, I finally purchased a thermal laminator a couple years ago and I wish I would have done it sooner. If you think you will get use out it, a laminator is a helpful tool for this project.
What is Included in the Calendar Busy Book
Below is the tutorial for how to create the Calendar Busy Book. You can create an entire book using my free printables and it can include the following:
- What day is it? With day of the week, date and feeling.
- Calendar – with number cards.
- Day of the week -with Today is, Yesterday was and Tomorrow will be.
- Weather Option One – with weather, season and thermometer cards.
- Weather Option Two – with weather and season cards plus a Weather Bunny kids can dress for the weather.
- Letter and Number of the Day Option One -use this page with a dry-erase marker.
There are a few pages at the end of our book that I created for the flashcards and calendar cards I sell in my Etsy shop.
- Letter and Number of the Day Option Two – use this page with my Early Learning Flashcards.
- Shape, Color and Animal of the Day – use this page with my Early Learning and Animal Flashcards.
- Today’s Activities – use this page with my Daily Activity Cards or Holiday Calendar Cards.
How to Make a Morning Calendar Busy Book
- 3 Ring Clear View Binder (I used a 1.5″ binder) or Loose Leaf Rings
- White cardstock. I used this 110lb White Cardstock. This 65lb White Cardstock is also nice
- Adhesive Dots
- I recommend using Velcro Brand 3/8″ Thin Clear Fasteners for the Bunny Dolls
- Dry Erase Marker
- Thermal Laminator and 3 mil Laminating Pouches
- Paper Trimmer and/or scissors
- Hole Punch
Making the Pages
Step One: Print the pages you plan on using in your busy book.
I printed on 110lb white cardstock, but use whatever weight paper works best with your printer. You will find the printables in the Calendar Busy Book packet in my free Resource Library. The Weather Bunnies are available in a separate packet as are the Emotion cards.
Step Two: Laminate and hole punch the pages.
Punch three holes along the top of the pages so they fit in the binder. I punched one and then used it as a guide on all of my other pages. My laminated pages did not work with my three-hole punch so I did need to punch each hole with a hole punch.
If you plan to use a Weather Bunny, I recommend printing and cutting out the bunny of your choice and gluing it on the weather sheet before laminating. The bunnies come standing or using wheelchairs and they come in four different fur colors.
Step Three: Cut out the pieces that go to the calendar.
This is where the paper trimmer REALLY comes in handy! I used it for all of my pieces, except my bunny clothing which I cut with a small, sharp scissors. I recommend only using the weather clothing, unless you plan to store the bunny clothes in a separate place.
How to Store the Busy Book Pieces
There are a lot of pieces that go with the busy book. The exact amount will depend on how many pages you decide to include with your book. You can choose to store them directly in the binder, on the back of pages or on extra laminated pages you insert. In the next section of this post, you can see how I arranged my extra pieces in the binder so that everything is in one place.
If you don’t want to store the pieces in the binder, you can use a zippered pouch, accordion folder, plastic bin, or even create my fabric piece holder. What works best for you will probably depend on when and where you plan to use this book.
There are a few extra pages you can include with your busy book like the Shape, Color, Animal of the Day Page. Pages like this will mean a lot more pieces to store. I recommend keeping these flashcards in one of the storage solutions mentioned above.
Assembling the Busy Book
There are so many different ways you can organize your busy book. Pick and choose the pages you want to include and put them in any order you’d like! Below is the order of the busy book I made. You can see how I stored the extra pieces throughout the binder.
There are two cover options including one that can be personalized by writing a name, or names, on the front.
The intro page is where I stored my month and season cards. I used the front and back of the page and added adhesive dots where needed.
Page 1: What day is today?
The first page in our book asks “What day is it?”. Kids can answer the question with the day of the week and the full date including the month and year. There is also a space for my new set of printable emotion cards! I chose to include nine emotion cards in my busy book, even though there are many more in the set.
Page 2: The Calendar Page
The second page is a full calendar. To use this page without removing the month and day from the previous page, you would need to print an extra set of month and number cards. As an alternative, you can print my 2022 calendar pages and mark each completed day with a sticker or cross it out. All of these options are great for fine motor skills.
You’ll find a blank grid included in the printable packet to store the number cards.
Page 3: Days of the Week
This next page provides a spot for kids to think more about the days of the week. Again, you would need an extra set of weekday cards for this page, or kids will need to remove the day card from the first page.
Page 4: The Weather Page
For the weather page I have included two different options! The first page includes a space for the weather, season and a thermometer. Kids can mark the temperature with a small arrow. This is a great option if you want to spend less time making the busy book, since cutting the bunny clothes does take added time.
The second option includes a space for one of my popular Weather Bunnies. Kids can check the weather each morning and dress their bunny with the appropriate clothes. The bunnies come standing or using wheelchairs and are available in four fur colors.
Tip: Print your bunny and use a glue stick to adhere it to the page before laminating.
If using the bunny page, I recommend using the smaller Thin Clear Fasteners for the bunny clothing. You can place five of the clear fasteners on the bunny’s feet, head, and chest. Place soft fasteners on the back of the bunny clothing. I like to laminate the bunny clothing so it lasts longer.
Page 5: Letter and Number of the Day Pages
This next page is a fun place to focus on a letter and number of the day. If laminated, you can use a dry-erase marker on this page to add a letter and number in the spaces. You, or the child depending on their age, can write the number and then have the child draw the corresponding number of dots.
Additional Pages that Use my Flashcards
This next few pages that can be added to your busy book use cards from my Etsy shop including my letter, number, shape and color cards from my Early Learning Card Set and an animal card from my Animal Flashcards set. I loved using these cards with my little ones and we often did a fun craft or activity that related to the cards of the day.
Note: Using these pages will mean a lot of extra pieces for your busy book. I would recommend keeping them in a separate place rather than on pages in the binder. This works well if you plan to do the busy book in the same place each day.
The final page in our busy book is a spot for the day’s activities. The Calendar Cards available in my shop fit this page with six spots to add activities. You can also use this for holidays or special events for the day.
The busy book is complete! I think this is such a fun way to use my calendar cards. I have always used them on magnetic dry erase boards or foam boards, but the binder is compact and easy to store. There are many ways you can customize this book and make it your own.
How to Download the Free Files
Download the Free Files! You will find the free printables in my Resource Library under DIY Children’s Calendar. This projects used the Calendar Busy Book, Emotion Cards and Weather Bunnies. Enter your first name and email to get the password to download this file. You’ll also have a chance to sign up for my newsletter to receive fun craft tutorials, tips, updates and more FREE files to help make crafting something special and unique easier!