My newest obsession is Busy Bags!! I came across them on Pinterest the other day and I just can't stop making them!! The idea is to have several gallon-sized Ziploc baggies, each filled with a different activity for your child. Many of the activities are homemade and many of them are educational. All of them are fun and great to hand your child when you need a few minutes to get something done. Having all the pieces in a baggie makes it easy to clean up, easy to grab on the go, and easy to keep everything together!
Right now I have 15 Busy Bags in my collection. I plan to cycle through them on maybe a monthly basis as I add more and more, keeping no more than 20 available to my kids at any one time. Here are three blog pages I referenced when getting my own ideas: Small Potatoes, Second Story Window, Second Story Window. There are so many possibilities and variations, especially with the two different age groups I have to work with!
One of our busy bags is a "Build Your Own Cupcake" activity. I came across this online and had the supplies on hand so it became one of the first ones I tried. This is simply a collection of felt shapes that can be pieced together to create cupcakes. Some online posts included tiny scraps of felt as sprinkles but I decided to skip that part and save myself some cleaning up! I made enough felt pieces to create three separate cupcakes. I like this activity because both my kids - a toddler and a kindergartner - can do it.
Even though I had a blast creating this for my kids, I felt kinda weird doing all the (fun) work by myself. I think in the future I'll draw some cupcake templates on regular construction paper for Molly (5) to cut out by herself. I just wouldn't be comfortable with her cutting felt yet!
A second busy bag I found online and re-created is some "Spelling Cards". This busy bag is perfect for my little kindergartner who is learning her letters and beginning to spell and read this year! I used some small foam letters, meant for bath time play, that we had laying around. I actually had used them to decorate our holiday tree for the beginning of school the past couple years! The word cards are made out of card stock. I included a variety of words, utilizing every possible letter, and ranging from two letters up to five letter words. Each card has the word in all capital letters on the front, then the same word all in lower case letters on the back. This is a great way for Molly (5) to review her letters and sight words she's learning at school now!
... Stay tuned for more Busy Bag activities, I'm sure!!