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Busy Bags for Busy Mamas

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Hi, busy moms! Taking your little ones on boring errands or long car trips can be a drag for everyone, but a little preparation can provide your kids with fun, educational activities and make your day go much more smoothly.

Busy Bags provide a great way to keep your children occupied and happy!

What is a Busy Bag? I’m glad you asked! View our recent Hot Tip video about Busy Bags here.

The Busy Bag Hot Tip had so much interest that Brandi hosted a Busy Bag swap for the Colorado Springs Help Club For Moms group! There were 12  families, and everyone went home with a great variety of creative activities!

It’s simple to host a Busy Bag Exchange:

  1. Each mom makes 12 of the same busy bag of their choice (like in a cookie exchange).
  2. The moms meet at a park or home to exchange busy bags and make new friends.
  3. The children get a chance to make new friends too!

It’s a really fun day!

Below are some of the simple, inexpensive projects that you make to keep on hand for a busy day.

20151015_121500

Number Counting and Skip Counting Wheels– I saw these on Pinterest somewhere and made them.

I started out matching these for counting 1-10 but realized quickly they would be great for skip counting.

Besides printing, all you need to do is find 10 clothes pins for each wheel and write the numbers needed for each group.

I laminated these to be durable.

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GLOW Stick Build- Every summer we do fun activities with different types of GLOW sticks and instead of throwing them away we save them and my kids love to create new things with all the pieces.

All you need is leftover glow sticks and a fun imagination!

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 Colored Puff Ball Sort-Grab a bag of assorted colored puff balls and then make some small matching colored plates.

In this case, I bought a super cheap pack of white plates and glued corresponding colored construction paper to them.

Then get an inexpensive pair of tongs they can use to pick up the little balls  and put it on the right plate.

Great for motor skills and learning colors also.

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 Felt Pizza Factory Kit – Make the pizza ingredients out of colored felt: tan, red, cream, black, green and gray.

You can also take the time to print and laminate the ordering sheets.

Here’s the link:

http://www.secondstorywindow.net/Pizza%20Factory%203%20copy.jpg

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Velcro Popsicle Sticks – You only need large popsicle sticks and sticky velcro.

Cut the velcro to a size that fits your sticks and stick on opposite sides both front and back.

Kids of all ages love these!

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Caterpillar Number Counting (and color matching)- Simply print the template and provide your kids with corresponding mini colored puff balls.

Printable template can be found  here: http://www.powerfulmothering.com/counting-caterpillar-busy-bag/

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 Felt Button Chain – You need assorted sizes, colors, and shapes of buttons and different colors of felt cut into various width strips.

 Sew a button on the end of the felt strip, and  on the other end, cut a hole slightly smaller than the button because the felt does stretch out.

This is a great activity for Littles practicing coordination.

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Foam Bead Stringing– Needed: Foam beads (I got these at the Dollar Tree), and also a shoe string. Voila!  Done.

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 Felt Ice Cream Play- All it takes it various colors of felt!

Cut out several cones, scoops of ice cream, toppings, sprinkles, and even cherries, because ice cream sundaes aren’t complete without them!

20151015_122256 Upper Case and Lower Case Matching– A great use for leftover Easter eggs.

Using a permanent marker on one-half, write upper case letters, on the lower half write lower case.

Match away!

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 Number Matching Eggs- Another use for leftover Easter eggs.

On the top half write the number and on the button half make dots or any other shape you wish.

Match away!

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 Upper and Lower Case Identification Cards– This was a free printable I found on Pinterest.

I printed these on cardstock and laminated them myself so they would hold up better.

Then, I punched a hole in the corner and used a clamp ring to keep then from getting lost.

Last,  all you need are clothespins to clip so your children can identify which lower case matched the upper case letter shown.

Here is the link for the printable:  http://m.1plus1plus1equals1.net/qnvuw6s/articles/14826/ABC-abc-Can-you-find-the-baby-letter-

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 Bug in a Jar Counting– Needed: Printed cards and clothes pins with the corresponding numbers written on them.

Laminate if desired for durability.

I got this bag from a swap so this printable link isn’t exact but here’s a similar concept: http://makinglearningfun.com/themepages/FireflyCountCard.htm.

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Ice Cream Scoop Count- Needed: Colored cardstock and glue.

Cut out individual ice cream cones with numbers and glue them to a  previously cut out strip of cardstock and write numbers on each.

Cut out a number of scoops needed for each cone.

Then give to your little one to count away.

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 Potato Head Build– Needed:  Potato Heads, camera to take pictures with.

These are our own potato heads because we have a lot.

I just mixed and matched them and took pictures of them for the kids to replicate.

This is good to help your children to learn to pay attention to detail.

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Word Letter Matching- Needed: Note Cards and clothes pins (add stickers of the words to have a visual clue if desired).

Write three or four-lettered words to note cards and write each letter of the word on a clothespin.

When you are done, mix the clothespins together, and have your children find the correct letters to clip on the card.20151015_113646

 Colored Link Patterns- Needed: printable link cards (laminated if desired)

http://mothersniche.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/links.pdf
And plastic links. Here’s where you can buy them

http://goto.orientaltrading.com/c/75259/87860/1985?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.orientaltrading.com%2Fjumbo-counting-links-a2-60_6501-12-1.fltr%3FNtt%3Dmanipulative

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Felt Shape Button Ribbon– Needed: Different colored felt cut into various shapes and a slit cut in the middle, a length of ribbon at least 14″, and a large button. Sew one shape (without a slit) on one end of the ribbon, sew the large button on the other end. Have various shadows cut out of different colors of felt. This is great for motor skills for littles, learning colors, shapes, and patterns!

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5 Comments

  1. Thank you all. I’m so glad everyone is liking them. It’s something I’ve done for a few years now that helps so much with having 5 kiddos. You all are all kind with the response we’ve had!

  2. Brandi this is so great! I loved is you posted all the pictures with the creative ideas…I know I’ve said this before, but how I wish I would have known about busy bags when all of my kids were younger! When my life slows down a bit I want to make some of these for Annie and participate in a busy bag swap! Thanks for sharing this…GREAT job!!

  3. This is one of the best posts on busy bags I’ve seen! Thank you!!

  4. Thank you for all the great ideas! This is wonderful!

  5. This is SOOOOOOOOOOOOOO awesome Brandi!! Thanks SOOOO much for sharing this idea with all of the HCFM busy Mamas!! 🙂

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