How to Make Busy Bags To Keep Your Little One Busy


We just started up our new year of homeschooling. This year 3 to homeschool which is a bit tricky because I have little ones too. So how can I keep my 3 year old busy while I homeschool my older 3 children. How can I do this? Not only are they great for home but they are great in the car too!

Two words —- BUSY BAGS!

busy bags collage button
What is a busy bag you ask? It is a bag whether it be a Ziploc bag or a zippered pencil-case bag or any smaller bag filled with hands on activities to keep your little one busy!
Most of what I have used I either had already or I purchased at the Dollar Tree. These bags are great for home and for on the go. They are the perfect solution to keep kids busy! I made a total of 16 bags which I plan on rotating.
Pom Poms
Empty Vitamin Bottle
Large Paper Clips
Index Cards
Small Tower Blocks
Piper Cleaners
Pony Beads
Foam Shapes
Plastic Bottles with Caps
Small Chalkboard With Chalk and Eraser
Small Connector Blocks
Small Books
Lacing Cards
Foam Puzzles
Dry Erase Book
Pool Noodles Cut in Chunks
Pick Up Sticks
Binder Rings
Small Etch a Sketch
Magnetic Doodles
Safety Kids Scissors
How they are used:
From left to right: golf tee’s go in the triangle, the binder rings open and close and the child can connect them together, foam puzzle – build, dry erase activity book, chalk board the child can write or draw and then erase with the foam eraser, connector blocks we got in a Wendy’s kids meal a few years ago, take 2 plastic bottles with attached tops and have the child transfer items from one to another – I used foam shapes, Learning cards and small pocket game which were on clearance and a hand me down, plastic travel size bricks.
How they are used:
From left to right have the child cut the straws, poke the Pick Up Sticks in the cut pool noodles they can even build with them, Magnetic Doodles, Coloring pad and crayons, Jumbo size paper clips they can clip to index cards, Small books and a sheet of stickers. I randomly placed stickers on index cards my kids will take the matching stickers off the sticker sheet and stick it on the index cards, pipe cleaners can be strung with the pony beads, plastic travel blocks and lacing cards.
I have some of the larger items in Ziploc bags because the zippered pencil bags are too small. Look around your home what do you have that you can use in your busy bags you will be surprised what you find! Some of these bags I can use for my 16 month baby but keep in mind some of these pieces are small so if you have them and you add them to your busy bag make sure your child is old enough and does not put the pieces in their mouths.
Have you made busy bags and if so what did you use inside your bags to keep your little one busy? 

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  1. I have been thinking about making busy bags for my little ones. You have given me some additional ideas. I love the pool noodle/pick up sticks idea. Wish I hadn’t gotten rid of those silly connector things from Wendy’s. This is why I hate getting rid of things. Grr. I had seen your post about the bags for a penny, but we don’t have an Office Depot, so we are just using plastic zippy bags. Really got to finish getting organized.

  2. What a great post explaining busy bags. And I love the ideas you have – the cutting straws is so simple & fun!

    I featured this at TGIF this week here:

    Thanks for linking up and sharing your creativity with the rest of us =) Hope to see you linked up again later day,


  3. What great busy bags! Thank you for sharing at Sharing Saturday!

  4. Thanks for all these great ideas! Can’t wait to try some of them with my 2 yr old

  5. That is a great idea. I don’t homeschool, but these would be awesome to bring on long car rides.

  6. How fun, I totally need to do this for all 3 of my kids. They definitely like to keep busy.

  7. This is a genius idea! I definitely need to do this. I am always trying to think of something to do with the little ones when they come to visit~

  8. What a great idea!!! I need to pass this on to my sister who has a very active three-year-old that would easily be kept busy with one of these while she gets some things done. – Katy

  9. That’s awesome. I love that you are going to rotate the bags. It will help them not get bored and it looks like all the bags teach something, like counting. I like it.

  10. I love this idea. I homeschool and this would be great for my 4 year old. Great idea!

  11. Busy bags are a great way to keep children entertained while learning! Great idea.

  12. Love these! I homeschool my 7 year old but have a 1.5+ year old so this is perfect!

  13. I love that they are all in sealable pencil bags.
    Quick and easy to store!
    I need to make some of these for the dayhome kiddos.

  14. You have some great ideas! I will be making some for my two year old too, perfect timing … thanks!

  15. What a great idea! You could grab some of those pencil cases at discount prices right now. These are great for all ages.

  16. STOP. Too cute… and such a fabulous idea! Definitely suggesting this to my preschool teacher friends! 🙂

    Diary of a Debutante

  17. I really need to put together a busy bag for my 3-year-old. It would be especially helpful for when we are on-the-go because when visiting friends or family, she can get bored if their aren’t other kids around!

  18. These are great. I love that you used things you already had on hand, or things that are very affordable. That was always my problem with projects like this. It’d take forever and be super expensive, so it wasn’t worth it. Thanks!

  19. pinned on my babies/toddlers board

  20. This is such a great idea. I will be doing this for my little one, although I will choose the bigger items because she puts everything in her month.

  21. This is such a great idea. I will be doing this for my little one, although I will choose the bigger items because she puts everything in her mouth.

  22. I totally agree with Robin’s take- they would work well for keeping the kiddos busy during long road trips.

  23. I love these ideas! I do not homeschool but this would be great for my 3 year old while I am trying to do homework with my older 2 when they get home from school.

  24. Yes, I love everything about this.

  25. What a great idea! These would have been so helpful when my kids were little!

  26. This is a great idea especially for those rainy, wet, and cold days when the kids are stuck inside!

  27. Pretty cool idea.. i think it would be fun for the kids to make these and bring them to school..

  28. great idea! i do this when we travel.

  29. This is genius! There are so many things you can do with them and I love how they travel so well.

  30. Thanks for the ideas. This is great for traveling.

  31. I could really USE these busy bags but I’ve always been overwhelmed by the process. Thanks for simplifying and putting up pictures.

  32. I love how you used the zippered pencil cases for the goodies. That makes it easy for them to open but the goodies won’t just fall out.

  33. I love this idea. We always have pencil bags left over hanging around the house after each school year. This would be a perfect way to put them to use.

  34. YOu are equipped for anything what a great selection of things to keep the kids busy.

  35. These look like a great way to keep the kids from saying they have nothing to do because they’re bored. I also like that they use common items we would already have around the house.

  36. I need to make some of these for my toddler. Thanks so much for all the great ideas!

  37. Oh my goodness, what great ideas… I hate when the kids get bored at the doctors or even at a restaurant and these are so much better than allowing them to play on my phone

  38. Love these! I’ve made a few to take on long trips or when we have to go to the doctors office. Such a lifesaver

  39. I need to make some of these so bad. Thanks for all the awesome ideas!

  40. What a great idea! This would be perfect for road trips or long waits.

  41. This is awesome. I can’t tell you how many times I could have used something like this with my niece and nephew.

  42. You’re a GENIUS! This is perfect for those times when the kids are getting antsy from waiting. I love it.

  43. What a great idea! I love seeing a way to keep the kids occupied that doesn’t involve video games.

  44. What a creative way to keep the kids busy. I love seeing something to keep kids entertained that doesn’t involve an electronic device.

  45. Oh I love this! This would be great for the kids on road trips!

  46. This is something that could be changed up and added to all the time. IT’s super fun!

  47. This is such a fantastic idea! I am going to have to make these up for our next road trip to keep the boys busy!

  48. I need to do something like this for the twins! At 19 months, they like to be busy!

  49. Genius! This is such a great idea. I could see using these for church, too!

  50. Busy bags are great for trips – thanks for the linky of educational post – sharing

  51. Such a great idea for the kiddos! I love that there’s NO gadgets involved!!

  52. Perfect for road trips with kids! I like that the zippered pencil bags keeps all the goodies from falling all over the place!

  53. Those are neat ideas. Love your choices.

  54. This is utterly brilliant! I’ll need to figure out how to make one for a 1.5 year old – any suggestions?

  55. what a fun idea. i might makes some of these for my nephews birthday gifts!

  56. I love love love how easy those are to make. I have been meaning to make one but I keep putting it off because I did not want to get out my sewing machine! Now I don’t have to!

  57. Yes! I have been making busy bags for my preschooler too! I’ve been posting one a week on my blog for about a month now! So far the favorites have been the felt pizza, and felt fish with paperclips to be caught by the magnet fishing pole!

  58. thanks for sharing these great ideas!

  59. awesome tips. I need to do this with my 2 year old.

  60. Such a great idea! I could tuck these into a bag and take them along for church. The kids sit with us until after communion which can seem like an eternity for a 5 year old.

  61. This is a great idea, it is so hard to keep kids entertained!

  62. This is such a great idea!!

  63. These are a really great idea. I love the pencil cases. I think it makes the perfect holder.

  64. What a great project. I love the concept of a busy bag. It’s both practical and very creative.

  65. These such a great and easy DIY ideas. Will keep the kids busy for a while.

  66. These bags are pure genius. We travel a lot, and this would have been perfect for long road trips when my kids were younger.

  67. Great idea! Thanks for joining HSH!

  68. Good ideas. I had “quiet books” for mine years ago. Boy what help! THese are wonderful! Take a diferent one every day! Followed you from Artsy Linky

  69. What a great idea! I need to do this for my 3 year old while I’m teaching my older daughter.

  70. These are awesome! Thanks for sharing the way you put these together. And thanks for joining Grace at Home–I’m featuring you this week!

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