As I've mentioned before, I'm a little obsessed with the idea of “Busy Bags.” I'm sure you have heard of them but if you haven't, here's the lowdown:
What are Busy Bags?
They are collections of little toys, activities, and learning that are put together and collected into bags, totes, baggies, etc., and are only used in desperate moments when you need your little one to be “busy.” The concept is that because your little one does not have free access to this item at all times, it catches their interest, similar to the idea of a toy rotation. These are great for church, doctor's visits, car rides or those desperate moments when you would just like to shower without little ones banging on your door.
At home with the kids? Instantly access any of these printable activity bundles to keep them learning!
First, you know your kid best…buy things they will actually be interested in. Second, I try to make busy bags out of things that have more than one use…so usually not a coloring pad unless I can get a bunch of them super cheap. Third, some people keep it cheap and use baggies which would work great. However, I want these bags to last through several children so I splurge and get the pencil pouches at Walmart when they are having their back-to-school-sale (less than a dollar each).
Here are a few busy bags that I did this week:
Busy Bag Ideas
These are some mini dinosaurs that I added on to a purchase I was getting on the classifieds. Less than a buck! Whenever I am buying off the classifieds, I like to always check and see what else the seller is selling to see if there's something small I can add on as a busy bag.
Next we have some Tic Tac Toe I got at the Dollar Tree. Nothing special, but for a buck I'm sure it will be worth it's pay.
Next I have some magnetic foam manipulative puzzles that I got off Oriental Trading when they were having one of their free shipping promotions. If I have a fridge or magnet board nearby, great! If not they can still put the puzzles together. Great for learning fractions!
Next is a flip book I made about letters and shapes (I showed you how to make it in this post). I included some stretchy colored rings that can be matched up to the correct colors. I will probably add something to match all the shapes up with too.
This is just a bunch of snowman Make-A-Sticker-Scenes that I got on clearance at Oriental Trading. Good for when I have multiple kids with me (comes with 12 sheets).
Next are these cute hand puppets I got at the Dollar Tree. I got about 10 of them so I will either add a story book and make a couple busy bags out of them, or just find a bigger bag and throw all of them in together.
These are some Christmas Pop Beads I got off Oriental Trading for cheap. Maybe they need to be broken in, but they seem like they would be hard for a small kid to put together. I'll have to update you.
This is a coloring roll. Like I said earlier, I usually don't use one-time-use items in my busy bags, but they were on clearance at Walmart for $.30 so it was worth it to me to buy a bunch of them.
That's all the pictures I have for now, but I will be sure to update as I finish more busy bags! I'd love to get more ideas, so feel free to share some fun ones you have done, or link back to a particular blog post about busy bags. What have been your most successful ones?
*Some of you have asked where I get my laminating pouches. I get them from laminationdepot.com. They have a great clearance section of their site where you can get some great deals. However, I've found it to not be worth the shipping unless I'm making orders of at least $40. So I usually stock up on all the sizes I need through laminationdepot.com, and then when I just need one size, I will order through Amazon, who also sells Lamination Depot brand.