Toddler busy bags can be easy and simple to make, but also can be used for several different things. I have made busy bags for my toddler for traveling purposes and when baby #2 came along for something for her to do while I nursed.
When making busy bags you want to keep in mind what the purpose of them are. Do you want them to be able to be used on a small table (think airplane), in the carseat, or once you arrive to your destination? Do you want them to be activities that the toddler can do primarily by themselves? Do you prefer practice skills activities or just for fun activities. These are just a few things to think about while prepping your busy bags.
Today I will be sharing a mixture of ten busy bags that I created. I tried to make them all where my toddler could do them independently or just with verbal instructions. I wanted to make sure I included colors, shapes, numbers and letters along with just fun ones too. Most of the things I had laying around, but I did make a few purchases to pull them all together. I first bought ten pencil bags then got started on the project!
1.Wiffle Ball and Pipe Cleaners: Wiffle balls can be found in the golf section at Walmart. Then, cut some pipe cleaners in half. The toddler get to use their fine motor stills to put the pipe cleaners through. Add conversation by using different lengths of pipe cleaners and different colors.
2. Stacking Spoons: Draw the solid shape on the white spoons. Draw the outline of the shape on the clear spoon. Toddler finds the match to stack them. You can use this with numbers and colors as well.
3. Explore and Discover Bag: While at UPS a few weeks ago the worker there gave my toddler a magnifying glass. She thought it was so neat and was having a lot of fun with it. I just found something I had laying around to add to the bag for her to explore and discover. The little drink umbrellas allow her to open and close them, talk about different colors and look at the details with the magnifying glass.
4. Popsicle Stick Building: Simply add Velcro circles to the larger popsicle sticks and you have an instant game. Toddlers can build shapes and letters along with letting their imagination guide them.
5. Popsicle Sticks and Clothes Pin Color Matching: I used the same large popsicle sticks that I used in the above busy bag. Then, I used colored Sharpies to add color to both the popsicle sticks and clothes pins.
6. Matching Pictures and Words: These were a box of matching cards I found in the closet that I got from the Dollar Tree when I was teaching. I pulled out sets of pictures I thought my toddler would be interested in or had letters that she knew. The will allow us to talk about numbers, colors, sounds and more.
7. Building Blocks: Use index cards to put numbers and spaces on. Then add something to the bag that they can stack with. This set up allows them to count out the objects one on each space, but then they can also stack them as well. I did numbers 1-10, but you can do whatever numbers make sense for your toddler. I used 1″ wooden cubes I already had. Legos, Jenga blocks or other building things could be used. Whatever fits nicely in the pencil bag.
8. Letter Matching: Use clothes pins along with some kind of letter cards to create a matching game. I had these letter cards printed and laminated a long time ago for play dough play time. But you could simply write them out on index cards. Write the corresponding letters on clothes pins. I only have about 8-10 letters in the bag at a time.
9. Straw and Felt Play: Grab a few swirly straws and some scrap felt pieces and you have another busy bag. I chose to do all squares just for time purposes on this bag, but you could cut out all kinds of shapes to support discussion about shapes. Cut a small slit in the middle of the shape. The toddler uses fine motor skills to put the fel on the straw and move it down. You can support them with working with patterns as well.
10. Race Track: Using black felt and yellow fabric paint I made race track pieces. I included four straight away pieces and two half circles (which took four pieces of felt). This allows several options for tracks. The half circles get to be folded in half to fit into the pencil bag. Then, add a few cars.
There you have 10 toddler busy bags that can be used for travel! Some will work well in the car or on a plane and others can be easily packed to pull out once you make it to your destination. The important things to remember about busy bags are that the things in the bags are new or different than what the toddler has been playing with and that they are activities that they can do mostly independent.
What are some busy bags you have had success with?
Until Next Time- Truly Love,