My goodness that’s a lot of alliteration! My last busy bag post (Busy Bags: Let’s Make a Pizza!) has been very popular so I thought I’d share another with you all. If you’re not feeling super crafty or you’re short on time, this one will really appeal to you!
I found the idea for this “busy bag” (technically I can’t fit it into a gallon-sized ziploc bag like my others so it’s more of a “busy bundle” on Bubbles and Bobbins, which is a great little blog by Jean Park who is a mommy to three young boys. Her site has several cute tutorials for simple sewing projects (like this adorable hooded towel tutorial…I totally want to try this!) as well as this great set of printables that can be used as busy bag activities!
Here’s what the set looks like. Clockwise from top left there is “Pom Pom Patterns,” “Number Train,” “Rainbow,” and “Gumball Machine.” Also pictured is Buddy’s bag of small pom poms. This was so easy to assemble. I simply printed the pages from Bubbles and Bobbins, laminated them with a few Scotch Self-Seal Laminating Pouches (picked mine up at Target), and made sure I had enough pom poms for Buddy to complete each of the pages. (**hint: If you make sure you have enough pom poms to cover all the spaces on “Pom Pom Patterns” you will have enough to do any of the other pages as well.)
This set is fantastic because it works on so many areas: fine-motor, counting, one-to-one correspondence, colors and color matching, patterning, and more! Doesn’t get much simpler than this folks. As always, keep in mind that, depending on your child’s age/development, they might not quite be ready for this to be an independent activity. If that’s the case, play along with them the first several times until they are more and more able to complete the tasks by themselves. Then challenge them to be creative! Can they make patterns while counting out pom poms to fill the train cars? With an older child, you might work together to make a little graph representing each color on the rainbow and how many pom poms go on each color (use a dry erase marker on the back of the page!) So many possibilities!
The lamination is what made them too large to fit in a gallon-sized ziploc BUT without it…well…you do the math with a teething, drooly two-year-old. 🙂 Instead, I clip all the pages and the bag of pom poms together with a binder clip. Like this!
If you are looking for a little added craftiness: I also made a set of these for a friend a while back which I made to be magnetic by hot gluing bits of magnet tape to the pom poms (it’s self-adhesive but not strong enough to stay on a pom pom) and adhering another piece to each of the spaces on the pages. Another option would be to hot glue magnets on the pom poms and place pages on a cookie sheet or other magnetic surface to play that way.
So there you have it…all the work is done for you except purchasing pom poms and printing some pages (there I go again with the alliteration…can’t take me anywhere!) 😉
What kinds of quiet/independent activities do you use with your children?