Busy Bags

*Just for the record, this is not something I have created or thought up on my own.  I have taken this idea from different websites and blogs online and from friends, made it my own, and wanted to share this wonderful idea with all of you. 

That said, “busy bags” are AMAZING!  Do you ever just need 15 minutes to yourself or to get something done?  Of course you do, you are a mom!  “Busy bags” are the perfect solution for when you need those few minutes to get ready for work in the morning, to make dinner, to start laundry, or make that phone call you need to without toddlers hanging on your leg.  I started using them about two weeks ago, and my mornings of getting ready for work have been great.  I am happy, they are happy, what’s not to love?  I’m sure you are thinking, “Yes, yes, yes to all of it, now tell us what they are!”

So I went to the dollar store a few weeks ago and picked up a bunch of supplies to create little activity bags for my two girls (age 2).  Here are some things that are important to remember about “busy bags”, and then I will share some of my activities with you.


#1. They need to be special. My girls only get “busy bags” at certain times and when we are done, they are put away.

#2. Store them up and away.  We put ours in the hall closet.

#3. They can be toys that you already have.  They don’t have to be new activities.  It could be a little puzzle you already have, that they don’t play with because it’s out all the time.  Take it away for a few weeks, and that puzzle will be their favorite thing.

#4. Alternate the busy bags, so they aren’t doing the same one all the time.  It helps to keep them exciting.

Ok, here are some of the busy bags that I have made!

“Busy bag” #1:

Materials: puff balls ($1) at the Dollar Store, ice cube tray (2/$1), and an old container with a hole cut in the top


My girls love to stuff the puff balls in the container and sort them by color in the ice cube tray.

“Busy bag” #2:

Materials: first word cards ($1) and shape/color cards ($1)


The girls like to flip through these and I usually try to have them tell me the words and colors.  This is good for toddlers, but for older kids, you could do math facts or some other practice.  They have a lot of options at the Dollar Store.

“Busy bag” #3:

Materials: pipe cleaners, an old Parmesan cheese container, and a paper towel roll


My girls like to just fit them in the holes and we tape the paper towel roll to the wall and they feed the pipe cleaners through them.

“Busy bag” #4:

Materials: clothespins, and multi-colored paint chips


I cut a strip off the side of the cards and glued it onto a clothespin.  The kids then have to match the colors.  This is still a little hard for my two-year-olds.  They like to find all of the same color though and put them in different cups.

“Busy bag” #5

Materials: stickers and paper


This activity is pretty self- explanatory.  My girls LOVE stickers, especially Dora.

So, I literally put these activities in little bags, and pull one out when I need a few minutes.  We have a few weeks of winter left (hopefully?) and I hope this has given you some ideas for fun activities for your kids.  I’d love to hear any other ideas you have, especially for older kids, since these are more for toddlers.



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