useMy bestie recently gave birth to her 3rd beautiful bub. She’s a clever one!
As mumma to a 3-year-old and 5-year-old, I thought she might appreciate having something on hand to thrust at the older kidlets when she needed to buy herself some time.

Pinterest is heaving with Busy Bag ideas. Heck, I’ve even dedicated a whole board to Busy Bags. (Follow it here, if you so wish!)

My Busy Bags were pretty simple. They went something a little like this…

a) Pattern sticks. A bunch of pipe cleaners and some beads for threading. Kiddies are instructed to explore the kinds of patterns they can make. There is something about beads and threading that just calms kids right down. Amiright? For the 5 year-old, I also included a bracelet beading pack (smaller beads for more dexterous hands).

b) Step-by-Step drawing sheets. Many moons ago, a teaching buddy gave me a whole heap of photocopied how-to-draw-various-animal-sheets. My bad, I don’t have the name of the text- but you can buy similar how-to books at the Post Office or the book stalls that spring up in the middle of shopping centres.

c) Colour matching activity. Simple stuff- match the “gems” to the corresponding (or nearest) colour on the colour wheel. Acts as a great language activity if you ask children to describe the colour of each gem as they go along.

d) Cheapish activity books. Companies like Scholastic have great stock take sales throughout the year. Keep your eyes open. I stocked up on colouring and sticker books and picked up copies of this great marble book, complete with a set of marbles and instructions for many marble games.

e) Sticker shapes. At a Professional Development workshop led by an Occupational Therapist, I learned that peeling stickers off their sheets is a great strengthening activity for little fingers. (And we need strong fingers for that old-fashioned thing called writing!) This activity contains sheets with shapes from Microsoft Word (I know…. so designer-y) and a sticker booklet. The idea is to peel the stickers off and follow the outline of the shape.

f) Literacy activities. These were just initial sound games printed off and laminated from Teach This. I also love using K-3 Teacher Resources. Both sites require a paid membership (which is well worth it.) If you’re after some free Literacy activities that you can DIY, check out my Literacy Board on Pinterest. If you’re after some Numeracy activities, check these ideas out.

I packaged each activity in a ziplock bag (most teachers have a love affair with ziplock bags and their organisational abilities!) with instructions. The idea was for each activity to be low-fuss, mostly independent and quick to pack up.

What activities keep your kids busy?


Linking up with Essentially Jess for I Blog on Tuesdays.