Friday, October 14, 2011

Busy Bags

I have a busy bag collection started. A busy bag is a simple, age appropriate activity that can be pulled out and easily assembled and completed by your child for when you just need a few minutes of uniterrupted time but don't want to stick them in front of the TV! For more information, click HERE

My friend Tiffany started a local busy bag swap.
(10 people per swap, which means you make 10 of the same busy bag to swap with the others, leaving you with 10 different busy bags, one being your own.)
Check out the "Busy Bag Page" on the page bar above where I'll be posting the busy bags that I make for the swap, or just for Lawson, as well as some of the ones we receive! So check back often for new bags!

October Swap: Halloween Theme
My Bag: Web Weaving

This busy bag focuses on fine motor skills, pattern making, and coordination! Lawson and I have done WEAVING BEFORE and I thought I could turn it into a halloween theme for this busy bag swap calling it "web weaving" and adding a spider for the web. I cut out 10 cardboard circles, cut triangle groves around the circle, spray painted them black. I then used a nail to pierce a hole in the middle, thread some string through the hole and tied a knot in the string on the backside of the cardboard to hold it in place. I made sure there was several feet of string so the kids could make a really cool web. Coordination comes into play when the child must hold the cardboard base with one hand and weave the string in the groves with the other hand. I also decided I wanted "friendly looking" spiders and so I made them using pom poms, fuzzy craft sticks, googly eyes and hot glue. The kids can play with them and put them in their webs after they are done, OR a parent can hot glue the spider to the finished web to keep as a halloween art keepsake!

September Swap
My Bag: Clothesline Busy Bag

I found this busy bag idea HERE, which contains the free instructional page and pattern download. The idea is simple, you make miniature clothing with fabric or felt, add a few feet of rope or clothesline and some clothes hangers so the child can work those fine motor skills and hang up the clothes. I raided my scrap fabric stash to make the clothing which you see in the above picture!

Felt Cupcakes

I made these felt cupcakes for L a while ago and he STILL loves to play with them (a very successful busy bag!) I used THIS TEMPLATE, to create a set of to create a felt set of 4 cupcakes, 4 liners, and 4 frostings. I also used felt, mini pom poms, and plastic hearts to make "toppings."

Felt Pizza with Recipe Book

I had a 3 week old baby and at 9PM the idea to make this felt pizza and menu/recipe book for L popped in my head and I found myself up until after midnight making it! I'm a glutton for punishment haha! I cut a circle from cardboard for the "crust." I cut a circle from red felt for the "sauce" and then "freecut" pepperoni, cheese, mushroom, green pepper, olive and sausage shapes from felt in the appropriate colors.

Then I got to working on the Menu/Recipe Book.
The first page contained simple phrases that Lawson could learn and repeat by himself.

The next page contained the ingredients which I freehanded and colored (left page). And the rest of the 5 pages were customer "orders." For this, I cut people or families out of magazines, glued them to the top of the page and made a recipe for what kind of pizza they wanted based on the number of each ingredient they asked for. Great imaginative play

The last page. Again, containing sentences he can easily remember and recite on his own.

This bag gets played with VERY regularly. He loves to ask Brian and I what kind of pizza we want and to make it for us. The bag stays in his room on his shelf with a plastic pizza cutter and small wood cutting board that he uses for "putting his pizza in the oven" :)

Felt Rainbow and Learning Template
I found this rainbow template, printed it, used it to trace another rainbow on another sheet of paper, and then laminated the printed one.

I then took the one I traced and cut out each individual rainbow color band (and cloud) to use as a template to trace out on each sheet of felt. Then I cut out each traced band of felt color.

I chose this rainbow template because it had the colors spelled out on each band, so not only is it fun, but it has that additional learning element as well.

ahhh...don't ya just love rainbows!?

There are several busy bags that I have that contain things I bought from the dollar store, things from my craft supply or junk drawer even! I love these because they were cheap and I didn't have to make a thing! Some bags just contain one item.

Lock and Key Matching: 3 different kinds of locks with keys
Measure: Mini Tape Measure (L LOVES measuring things)
Coloring books and crayons
Fake money
Pony Beads and Fuzzy Craft Sticks
Playdough with a few "accessories"
Magazine clippings of different themes (food, people, toys, etc)
A few stamps, stamp pad and paper

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  1. These are all great ideas! I love the pizza one!

  2. I absolutely LOVE your felt pizza idea! I'm definitely going to try that one! Thank you :)

  3. Parabéns pelas atividades!!!


    Aguardo sua visitinha!!!

  4. I love all of these ideas! We've taken busy bags on vacation with us, and man they have helped out. Once, we went tubing with a bunch of family, and it was more rocks than water, and R and I were both done LONG before everyone else. We went back to the cabin and all the busy bags we took along saved the day. Your post has inspired me to try and get more creative with them. Thank you for sharing!

  5. Oh, and I hope you don't mind, but I thought I'd share a post of mine with you because I geniunely think you and L would like it. I know how much you guys love magnets. And painting. R and I just made our own magnets using salt dough, and it was a hit.

  6. Like Jessie's Spider Web Weaving Busy Bag?

    Check out all the other HALLOWEEN busy bags from the swap on my blog...


    Thanks again for the awesome weaving busy bag, Jessie!

  7. LOVE this idea!! Those would be helpful to have no hand & you gave some wonderful idas - love the Pizza! I would love for you to come link it up at my TGIF Linky Party tomorrow - I am also your newest follower. I would love for you to follow me back, if you like =-)

  8. WOW ! What a wonderfully creative & plan-ahead idea - love it. I found your blog on TGIF LInky Party

  9. Very cute! We just finished rainbow week, but I think I might make one of those rainbow templates anyway. Very cute. I might even put little velcro buttons on them to make them really stick. Thanks for sharing!

    Lindsey @


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