If you have no idea what Busy Bags are, then worry not, I am here to explain exactly that and tell you how to make some for your adorable little ones… especially since Vinay and I have a fair amount of experience dealing with both of the above situations. Plus, we are almost always on the road with our 2-year-old hyperactive toddler so we always have a NO MESS BUSY BAG READY FOR US TO GRAB-AND-GO as we hit the road.
NOTE: Some of the below busy bag ideas also make for great kids’ gifts!
For someone who doesn’t sit still for even a minute, he loves these wooden puzzles (linked below) and sits still
until he finishes them. Kept him busy for a good chunk of time on our recentEurope trip
Activities stored in individual bags that are designed to keep your little ones engaged & entertained while also educating them.
We have been on dozens of flights with A but this was the first time the airlines offered a pre-made Busy Bag, way to go Iceland Air
HOW TO MAKE A BUSY BAG?
1) When it comes to busy bags your imagination is your only limitation! Grab any material(s) that is(are) interesting enough to make an activity out of. These activities vary based on your kids’ age and interests.
2) It also depends on where you will be bringing these busy bags with you – on the flight, road trip, field trip, just to go to the doctors, to a playdate, or simply to keep your kiddos occupied as you tend to a few quick household chores.
3) Buy inexpensive materials from Dollar Store, Target or Amazon and create new activities/games out of them. Put materials for each activity in individual zipper bags (linked below) and you are good to go.
4) Some of the materials which make great busy bags are window gel stickers, pom poms, felt paper, pipe cleaner, matchstick box, post its, washable paint, clothespins, jute twine, play-doh, hand puppets, wooden puzzles, triangular crayons, memory matching cards, magnetic erasable drawing board, buckle toys, magnetic kits, building blocks, water wow, plastic shot glasses, etc.
5) Include some old favorites and some new additions so you can switch things up and keep the kiddo engaged and interested for long.
PLEASE NOTE: Always make sure to use materials that are safe and which do not cause any choking hazard, this again depends on your kids and their ages. Only offer them age-appropriate toys and activities to play with. Never leave them alone unsupervised.
9 EASY & FUN BUSY BAG ACTIVITY IDEAS
1) POM POMS & SHOT GLASSES COLOR SORTING BUSY BAG: Lay out as many shot glasses as the number of pom pom colors and have your kid sort the pom poms and put them in the assigned shot glass for each color.
2) POST-ITS & CRAYONS BUSY BAG: Draw and color on the post-it notes and stick them on the window. If your kid is old enough to use scissors then have them cut out shapes and then stick them on the windows (or even table).
3) PIPE CLEANERS & BEADS COUNTING BUSY BAG: String different beads (either the same color or different colors) onto the pipe cleaners and make different shapes out of these pipes.
4) PLAY-DOH & MOLD BUSY BAG: This one needs no explanation, simply fill the mold with play-doh and continue to make as many shapes as possible.
5) POPSICLE STICKS & CARDBOARD PAPER BUSY BAG: Apply glue to popsicle sticks and paste them on cardboard paper to make different shapes.
6) CLOTHESPIN & MATCHING FLASHCARDS BUSY BAG: Write different alphabets on clothespins and match these with the alphabet flashcards.
7) THREADING FOAM SHAPES BUSY BAG: Cut out different shapes from foam paper and punch holes on all sides of each shape. Then thread twine jute through the holes, sure to keep one busy for hours (if they don’t lose interest that is).
8) RACE TRACK & CARS BUSY BAG: Cut out a race track with felt and paint the lines in the center with yellow color. Include as many pieces as you want to create long tracks (rectangle and half-circles for different options, you get the idea). Throw in a few cars and you have one happy kid.
9) READY-TO-USE BUSY BAGS: These need no prior preparation except ordering them from Amazon, of course. Simply grab a few of these toys before you head out on your next trip and enjoy a few minutes (if not hours) of calm and peace (or so we wish!) – Water WOW, memory matching cards, magnetic erasable drawing board, buckle toys, magnetic kits, building blocks, wooden puzzles (all linked below), almost all of these are our little ones favorite toys!
All smiles before taking off on our recent trip to Europe (this was our first stop)
Again, just by using a few dollar store supplies you can create many games and activities on-the-go (think sorting, matching, counting, lacing, etc, etc) and as I said earlier, your imagination is really the only limitation. There are also 100’s of free activities and printables available online which you can just print out to keep your kids engaged while at home or on the road.