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How to Make a Busy Book

How to Make a Busy Book // One Lovely Life

This title sounds much more official than I’m afraid the post might be, but I wanted to share something that’s working for us right now when I need to keep Sophie busy while I make dinner or when we’re waiting for an appointment or doing our best to stay quiet during church.

We’ve been working on a lot of preschool concepts lately (numbers, letters, etc.) and have been practicing some fine motor skills in occupational therapy (which, at this age, mostly consists of appropriate pencil grasp, hand strength, and the use of scissors). Sophie really enjoys puzzles, tracing, and drawing, so I started putting together a little busy book for her.

We print out a few sheets a week, and I tuck them into plastic page protectors and put them in a binder. We use thin dry erase markers (bought at Target), and we can wipe them off to use over and over again. I keep the markers and a tissue in a zip-top plastic bag I hang from the rings of the binder, and everything stays in place.

I don’t know that this will work for Milo when he gets to this age–he doesn’t love this sort of thing like Sophie does–but in case it helps anyone else, here are a few things we’ve been putting into her busy book…

How to Make a Busy Book // One Lovely Life

1. Dot to Dot. These are great. There are loads of levels. There are dot-to-dot pages for numbers 1-5 or 1-50. they’re great for working on tracking, fine motor skills, number recognition and sequencing, and they’re also just plain fun. As you learn more numbers, or get better at doing them, you can print out harder ones and keep working your way up.

A few of our favorite basic ones…

2. Simple mazes. Again, these are great for a lot of developmental skills, pencil control, etc.

3. Matching. Sophie just loves these. There are a million out there, but these are a few fun ones.

4. Pre-writing marks. These marks and movements help with good hand control but also allow you to form any letter. Awesome.

5. Tracing. We almost exclusively work on letters for these. At some point, we’ll practice numbers, words, other shapes, etc.

  • These tracing pages are our favorite for letters. They combine some of the pre-writing skills needed to make each letter and the actual letter. Love them. (p.s. The website is free to join and you don’t get a bunch of weird emails).


Nothing to lose or pieces to drop! Do you have a busy book?

Anything I should check out?


  1. Seriously going to make one for the summer and I can use it for makenna’s joy school when I teach next fall !! Thank you times a million !

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