Thursday, February 16, 2012

Toddler Busy Bag

We're preparing to move yet again. In preparation for the long car ride and hotel stays ahead, I've made a toddler busy bag. Some things will have to be hotel use only, but quite a few things will work for when he's in the car strapped in his car seat. I got this idea from all the dozens of pinterest activities I've ran across the past few months.

I've repurposed a kid backpack that was given to us for free!

In the front zippered pocket I've stored flash cards from The Dollar Tree ($2 total) - there's the alphabet, shapes, and colors.

Inside I've used bags to separate out the different actives. I found a few clear plastic pencil cases for binders ($1/4); for the rest I used zippered quart sized bags.

Small chalkboard ($2) and chalk ($.75)

Did you know Crayola makes dry erase crayons? I found a pack of brights (with sharpener and erasing cloth) for $1.50 on clearance at Walmart and the fun dry erase board at Target on clearance for $2. My husband and I have been having fun using them to write on a picture to leave notes to each other.

Also in the busy bag are: 
Popsicle sticks ($3 for a pack of 200) and velcro circles (self sticking $3 for 15 pairs). Got the idea from Chasing Cheerios. For now Squish will just play with them, but later we'll work on shapes, colors, and more with these. Do note that the velcro circles come in 5/8", so you'll need the wider tongue depressor sticks.

Crayola Color Wonder markers and paper. This small set was only $1. 

Construction paper ($1 for 100 sheets), chubby crayons ($1), and stickers ($1 for 500, shown is just 150 of them). At 15 months Squish is starting to have fun with stickers, so I know this will be a huge hit! Thankfully cheap Dollar Tree stickers come off of things easily, so skip the expensive kinds. ;)

Fabric snake. Ribbion I already had, large button, and felt squares ($.25 to .50 a sheet, I used half of 4 sheets). Idea came from The Activity Mom

The last thing I managed to squeeze into the bag is this clipboard ($1.08) to hold papers while drawing and coloring. 

I've also made a few other activities that will have to be stored in another bag or box.

Discovery bottles. One contains small sea creatures in water. The second has rice with pipe cleaners, pom poms, small dominos, and green pebble beads. The third contains water with pipe cleaner shapes, pom poms, small dominoes, foam letters, and green pebble beads. There are hundreds of discovery bottle possibilities, I just chose to start with these three!
All the objects I used came from The Dollar Tree. I even have lots of extras for future projects.

Pipe cleaners and a pringles can! Idea came from Fun & Engaging Activities for Toddlers. 

I will also bring along with me the pom pom stuff in it activity because it's still a HUGE hit in our house!

Now that the kid is set I've got to start packing an apartment, which isn't nearly as fun.

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