Happy Friday and welcome to my Busy Bag post. I absolutely love, love, love busy bags! I am also a little saddened that I spent a lot of the first year of my twins’ lives in doctors offices, waiting rooms, or hospitals and yet I just NOW found out about busy bags.
So now it seems like I’m trying to make up for lost time. Just last week I made the 7 busy bags that I am going to share with you today. I want to preface all of this by saying that I am not very artistic nor very crafty. I also do not have a TON of craft supplies in my house although I have been working on that slowly, so if I can pull these off ANYONE can.
As you will see I used toys and recycled things like bubble tubes from around the house to create each one of these bags. Anything else that I could not find in my house, I bought at the Dollar Store and I only spent a whopping $3 there.
The reason I mentioned that these can all be done for $5 or less is because I had colored pasta, pipe cleaners, foam paper, and construction paper at home. If you do not already have those items or items similar you may need to buy a few things, but they can all be found at the Dollar Store.
Without further ado, here are my 7 incredibly simple yet fun and educational busy bags. Please don’t judge my artistic ability, I know it’s quite horrible.
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#1 Crazy Straws:
I found my inspiration for this Busy Bag at Powerful Mothering. I did not have felt for the circles so I used foam instead, but it still seems to work quite well. We’ve acquired a few crazy straws over the years mainly from birthday parties so we were well stocked with those. What I love about this busy bag is that its fine motor, color recognition, and fun all at the same time. My one complaint is that it doesn’t wrap up all nice and neat like most of my busy bags do since the straws are so long.
#2 Noodle Threading:
This busy bag is so super simple to make. I had some colored noodles and pipe cleaners so I combined them together into a color sorting/matching, fine motor busy bag. You can also have your kiddos count the noodles on each pipe cleaner or create patterns with the different colors. And the great part is that it all fits in a snack bag.
#3 Toys of many colors:
Another super easy and yet fun busy bag for kids of all ages. I honestly just walked around my house and gathered up toys, gadgets, and odds and ends until I had a good variety of a few different colors. Then, I cut up four small pieces of construction paper in matching colors. Voila! You have a color sorting busy bag. What I love about this is that it’s a sorting activity for B but just a random assortment of toys for Tuna and Shrimp to play with.
My daughter absolutely loves beads of any shape, color, and size. This is a perfect busy bag for her, except that she has started making bead bracelets for the nurses, doctors, etc as we wait at various places. If she keeps this up I will soon run out of supplies and this busy bag will be no more. Another down side to this busy bag is that it is not suitable for Tuna and Shrimp who still just want to eat the beads. If you don’t already have pipe cleaners or beads, you can find both at your local Dollar Store.
#5 Shape Patterns
I bought one package of these cute linkable shapes for one dollar and they helped me to create two different busy bags with some to spare for jewelry making at home. Using the shapes and a piece of construction paper I created three different patterns for B to complete. I also added a counting activity onto the back for extra practice. Then I made sure to include enough of each shape in the bag to complete all three patterns.
#6 Jewelry Kit
Do these shapes look familiar? They are the same ones I used in Busy Bag #5, except this time they are just for making jewelry. B loves this bag because she loves jewelry and they are super easy to latch together. The twins love it as well. Shrimp can link them together pretty easily but really just loves to shake them and listen to the clinking. Tuna loves to wear them as a bracelet and chew on them. They are perfect for all three. 🙂
Again, these shapes are part of the $1 bag I bought at the Dollar Store, so all I needed for this one was the shapes and a plastic baggy.
#7 Not So Bubbly Fun
The last and final busy bag is made of recycled bubble tubes, string, buttons, and hair ties. I had these things in small quantities from various projects we have done in the past. This is a great fine motor activity that uses random things from around the house.
B enjoyed the challenge of putting the string into the bubble tube, as well as the hair ties. Tuna and Shrimp enjoyed playing with the buttons and had even more fun putting the lid on and shaking them.
If you love busy bags as much as I do and have some great ideas for using simple items around the house please feel free to share. I am always looking to add to my stash!
I hope you have a fabulous Friday and a wonderful weekend.