Art

Busybook For Busy Bees

Profile photo of Zahra Anwer

Zahra Anwer

Associate Editor at Destination Riyadh

busybooks

Give yourself the gift of quiet time while helping your little one build skills at home and on-the-go.


If you thought interruption free alone time without your little one at your feet was an impossible mission — let us introduce you to Nabiha Ismail Wangde.

Nabiha’s Treasures and Treats began when she wanted to curate her daughter’s experience by customizing her own book.

Where did you get the idea to make busy books? How did it all start?

My daughter was born in 2009. When she was 6 months old, I came across a book ‘ Creative Play for your baby’ which had inspiration for creating handmade toys for your little ones. I sewed a felt hen by hand for my daughter using the pattern from that book and wanted to sew a chick for it too. A search on the Internet opened up a mesmerizing new world of handmade toys and activities for kids, including busy books. I made my first 2 busy books for my daughter, which would totally keep her occupied for hours on end.

Whoever saw them loved them and asked where I got them from, from friends and relatives to flight attendants during our travels! I soon made several more personalized busy books for my sister and friends. At the same time I also started making busy bags & Montessori-inspired activities for my daughter. When I realized that this was a niche that had not been tapped in Riyadh or even KSA for that matter, I decided to test out a few products as a trial. The response was very encouraging and that led to me starting my page on Facebook- ‘Nabiha’s Treasures & Treats’

Can you explain the process of creating one of these busy books?

I offer custom orders for those who want to personalize their busy books with their child’s names and also with activities that are suited to their child’s fine motor skills and what they like in terms of themes. Customers usually either tell me the exact pages that they want e.g. tying shoelaces, buttoning apples onto a tree, zipping a handbag etc. and I make and assemble them all together, or they tell me about the kinds of activities they want e.g. zipping, Velcro, buckle and what their child’s passions are like cars, dinosaurs, rainbows etc and then I incorporate them all into activities for the different pages.

Are the books and materials child-friendly?

The busy books are mainly made of good quality acrylic felt that does not pill or rip easily and sometimes even wool felt. I ensure that all the pieces, especially buttons, are sewn on very firmly. However, as with any other toy, I always advise parents to supervise and guide the child at all times while they are interacting with the busy books.

The busy books are a representation of a kid’s childhood that they’ll appreciate later on, in addition to being an incredibly distracting tool during road trips.

Facebook: /NabihaTreasuresTreats

Instagram: nabihas_treasures_and_treats

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