toddler busy bags

I’m no mom. But I get mistaken for one almost everyday because I have the two girls I nanny for in tow. The baby is eight months and the big girl is three in July. They’re on completely different schedules and sometimes that can be tricky at certain times throughout the day. For instance, when baby needs attention and big girl is less than enthused about that.

With summer fast approaching I needed to figure something out to keep her busy during the times the baby needs attention. For times when I know she’d be upset that we couldn’t play outside, etc. So I decided to make her a set of busy bags.

Busy bags are age appropriate activities, one in each bag, that the child can choose from to keep her “busy” when needed. I started by mapping out what type of activities I’d include in each bag. She’s going to be starting school in the fall so I thought the normal toddler learnings would be essential: shapes, colors, letters, numbers. I also included a memory game, stickers and coloring, play dough, lacing cards and pom pom pinchers for a total of nine bags.

I literally just made up some different games using what I had around my house and the kids’ house. I purchased the pencil pouch bags for $1 each at a dollar store and the other few supplies I needed I grabbed at A.C. Moore. I had almost everything and spent less than $20 for the other items. You can also use gallon sized Ziploc bags instead of pencil pouches, total personal preference and how rough/gentle your child is! These are great because anyone can make them and you don’t even really need to buy anything, you could just use games/toys you have around your home too.

Here are the bags I decided to make:

Stickers & Coloring
(need to add the stickers!)

Lacing Cards

Shape Matching

Color Matching


Letter Wheel

Memory Game

Pom Pom Pinchers

Play Dough

We keep them altogether in a large shoebox in a special corner of the kitchen. That way they’re easily accessible for those crazy times when I (or an actually Mom) realize they only have two hands and can call on said toddler to grab one for herself. Independence right? That’s teaching them independence…

I also think this would be an awesome gift to a toddler or child (and the Mom!). I’ve been thinking of all the other activities you could use for older children too. Possibilities are endless. Enjoy, and have fun if you decide to make some for that special kiddo in your life!

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