I made Evie some busy bags earlier this year and I can’t get over how much they have been used and just how convenient they are to have on hand. I really wanted to share a post today, all about how to make busy bags in case they’re something you might like to make for your kids too!
I have found these bags so helpful, in so many situations. I’m a work at home Mum and sometimes I’ve had to meet deadlines on my laptop, while my daughter has been home. These bags have been my saviour in those moments and I can work happily knowing that Evie is doing something entertaining and also educational, while I need to work.
We’ve also taken them with us on holiday, on planes, to friends houses and to restaurants. They are such a brilliant thing just to have tucked away for emergency situations, rainy days and for when you hear those cries of ‘I’m bored’.
If you’re looking to make your own busy bags, today I’m sharing with you a few ideas of what we’ve included in ours, so hopefully you can get some good inspiration.
How To Make Busy Bags
I can’t stress enough how easy it is to make these busy bags. Even better you can get as creative as you like and you can put whatever you want inside them.
Before I dive into the post, if you haven’t visited Life Unexpected before, then do go and check out our ‘busy box’ post as well. I made Evie a busy box when she was one years old and its full of more fun, rather than educational things, aimed at younger kids and preschoolers. You can find that here:
- Related post: How To Make A Busy Box
We grabbed the actual bags we use from Amazon. I wanted these ones because they looked really durable. I also looked for some that had a zip so we could keep things safe and I wanted them to have a perspex cover so Evie could write on one of them.
Most of these activities, I made completely on a whim, just using things I found in our craft box and on Amazon. So, without further ado, here’s whats in our busy bags:
First up is the ‘threading game’. I found these little plastic animals on Amazon. They were so cheap and came in a pack with the laces. If you’d rather not buy them though, this type of game is also really easy to hand make. All you need to do is cut out different shapes from card. Then you hole punch some holes and simple grab some old shoe laces. I really wanted to make a bag that would help Evie to develop her gross motor skills. It’s also been amazing for helping with her concentration levels.
This is the perfect quiet time activity! She loves challenging herself to put the laces in, in a certain way so that she can cover every hole. When she’s a little bit bigger, I’m going to buy or make a ‘shoe’ shaped version of this so she can start practising lacing shoes.
- You can buy the threading game from Amazon here.
We have a ‘reusable jewellery making’ game in our busy box that I made out of pipe cleaners, beads and cut up straws. But, now Evie is a little bit bigger I wanted to also give her a bag where she can make lasting jewellery. Jewellery that she can either wear herself or make for friends and family. I found a ‘unicorn bracelet making kit’ in Sainsbury’s for £5 and we just emptied that into this bag. It’s a great way for Evie to learn patterns, threading and cutting. I do have to help her with the knotting at the end but the rest she does for herself.
This is quite a dainty activity so I do make sure that Evie does this sat at a table or somewhere where all the pieces won’t get lost.
- You can buy bracelet making sets here.
Next up we have a shape cutting game. I made these busy bags with the intention of them helping Evie to develop certain skills. One thing we’ve barely done with her is scissor play. Being a left handed person, one thing I struggle with a lot is cutting, even as a grown up. I didn’t want Evie to struggle like I do, so I’m hoping this game will help her a lot.
To make it, I simply cut different A4 pieces of card into strips of four. I then drew different patterns on each strip. On one I drew zig zags, on another straight lines, on another a wiggly line etc etc. I then put these in the bag with some child safe scissors. Now Evie can practise cutting out the different patterns and shapes whenever she likes.
Colouring or Painting
Next up is a really simply busy bag; colouring in. I found some mini colouring books and also some mini ‘magic paint’ books (the ones where you just paint with water) and though they were such an easy but fun thing to add to the busy bags.
We tend to take this bag with out and about with us a lot. It comes in handy for when we are in restaurants or at friends houses.
- You can get a mini colouring books here.
Lollipop Stick Shapes
The last thing in our busy box is these large multicoloured lollipop sticks. We have a smaller version of this in our busy box, but with these I decided to get larger ones and I attach ‘velcro stickers’ to them. This is so Evie can make more than just shapes, she can also get creative and make 3D structures to.
Where possible she tries to use the same colours to make one shape. But, to be honest she just creates things freely and I love some of the designs she comes up with when she plays with this.
Other Things You Can Make
We’re definitely going to be extending our collection over time. Another bag we’re going to try and make soon, is a magnetic fishing game using felt and magnets. I also want to make a bug studying bag, that will include a little magnifying glass and some plastic toy bugs.
The possibilities for bags are endless though. If you do want more inspiration, definitely hop onto my Pinterest where you can see some other amazing busy bag ideas!