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Like any toddler, Brielle has her well behaved moments and her crazy “where-did-my-sweet-girl-go” moments. When Hailey is napping it’s sometimes hard to reason with the latter version to keep her quiet. I had been seeing the concept of quiet activities on Pinterest and decided to take a stab at my own Toddler Busy Bags.
Busy bags are enclosed bags that contain items to quietly occupy a child. The bags are often themed or contain items for a specific activity. Some include printables but all contain play and creativity! I dug through our supply of crafts and random materials to put together a few bags to occupy Brielle during these nap sessions.
The bags themselves can be anything – a Ziploc bag may work but we went with these 3 ring binder mesh bags that I can connect together or keep independent to take out when a quiet activity is needed.
Busy Bag #1 – Bead Play
Brielle is really into stringing things together, as in undoing and redoing her shoelaces (not correctly of course) or completing lacing boards like this one.
I dug in our craft material collection and put together a long shoelace with a knot at the end, an large pegboard and a collection of colorful large Perler beads. Since taking these photos I also added punched flower shapes and pieces of paper straws left over from our lei making activity.
With this busy bag she can string beads on the shoelace or create patterns on the board.
Busy Bag #2 – Letter Play
She knows the alphabet and is now starting to identify letters that have meaning. I took some Scrabble tiles (from the set found at Derek’s Gramma’s house) and pulled out those that would have meaning to her on a little printable design. Mom. Dad. Brielle and Hailey. Brielle can arrange the letters onto the printable and learn how to spell these names.
I made additional printables with short words made of these same letters. While I do think this bag is fun, I worry about losing a letter or two and it isn’t as fun!
Busy Bag #3 – Colored Tile Play
My mom had given me a collection of these colored tiles from her classroom that were being thrown out. They are PERFECT busy bag materials as they are lightweight, flat and colorful!
She’s of course welcome to do whatever she wants with these tiles (staking them, lining them up etc) but I also made her a few printables to keep her engaged. You can download the free printables here but they include designs to help her sort by color (an activity we’ve been focused on this summer), she can make easy designs like robots or fish, and when she’s older she can use the one sheet to complete patterns.