Feb 7, 2012

Busy Bag Day

Since Pinterest and I have developed a loving relationship I have noticed tons of links to busy bags (among other wonderful things to keep toddlers learning and occupied...it is saving my life might I just add).  I have wanted to make a bunch of busy bags for my girls but the thought of making them all on my own was very overwhelming.  So I sent a message out on Facebook to a bunch of moms with young kids here in town and got a group of 9 women together to have a busy bags day.  Each mom picked one or two ideas to make and brought enough supplies for the whole group.  We had about a month to get ready since we all live in the middle of no where and had to have time to gather supplies.  We met at our church where the kids could run around while we assembled.  Everyone brought their own gallon sized ziplock bags to take home all the new activities in.  Some games required some assembly which was done at the church while others were ready to go.  We were there for an hour and a half and each mom went home with 18 different things to do.  It was so worth it.  Even if you had to pay a dollar a piece for the items for your bags you were getting 16 more bags at no cost so the cost was well worth the final outcome.  At first I thought we should each do 3 bags but actually doing 2 was the perfect number for each mom.
Here are some of the bags set out ready to go.

A second table of bags.

Table #3 of bag items.

Some of the lovely ladies who participated.  We did it on a morning when not everyone could attend so those who couldn't make it sent their stuff and some of us assembled bags for them.  So it works out even if everyone can't be there.

This is my loot.  Some of the things I got are: a Popsicle matching game, fishing game, pom pom shooters (fun for dads and kids), alphabet clothes pin game, stringing beads, file folder games, tongue depressor puzzles, alpha beans and more.
 My plan for using the busy bags is that we will do them Monday, Wednesday and Friday because we have preschool on Tuesdays and Thursdays.  We are doing them right after breakfast after we clean off the table.  I picked out two bags for each girl and they did them and then switched.  Their attention spans are still not that long so it was the perfect amount of time. 

Want to do a busy bag day of your own?  Here is the list of links I sent all the ladies.  Each one is a link to a specific idea or a blog or website that has lots of ideas.  After I sent the link I had the ladies write back to say what they were doing to avoid repeating any of the activities. 

http://www.mydeliciousambiguity.com/2010/09/toddler-busy-bag-activities-month-3.html   #'s 1 & 4
http://www.mynameissnickerdoodle.com/2010/02/colors.html Could be done with different sizes of pasta (just a bag of colored pasta and some string.
http://moneysavingmom.com/2011/08/busy-bag-idea-pom-pom-stuff-it-in.html i have found packages of mini cups with lids at the dollar store they come in like 5 or 6 a package.
http://www.activity-mom.com/2010/03/lima-bean-letters.html could be put with a bunch of cards that spell words and the child has to match up the beans
http://www.activity-mom.com/2010/02/letter-matching.html   You could make a bunch of cards with letters on them and then add in a couple of sheets of stickers.  Once used up the mom can replace them
http://www.activity-mom.com/2010/01/beware-of-crocodiles-game.html I think this would be cute but I would use fun foam to make the crocodiles and you could put numbers or shapes or colors for the kids to find.
http://theprincessandthetot.blogspot.com/search/label/Tot%20Trays There are tons of ideas here that could be turned into busy bags.  I like sort the foods (you could do this with picture cards), the nuts and bolts-that would be super fun, egg carton button sort, happy sad sorting (click older enteries to get here), draw a mouth, lacing foam beads onto a stick (could be done with fun foam with a hole punched in it and a meat skewer),
http://www.kindergartenkindergarten.com/file-folder-games.html this site has some cute and free printable file folder games that could be put in a bag.
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  2. Thanks for the Busy Bag ideas. I had some and added these to my collection. My nephew is expecting a baby next month and I thought to make a couple of the bags for a gift for his 2 1/2 year along with a baby gift.

  3. LOVE this idea!!! Thanks for posting all the links. I will definitely be checking them out!


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