Toddlers are loveable, huggable, bundles of energy and enthusiasm. They like to be doing something every waking moment and this zest for life doesn’t stop when they’re sat in one place.
Luckily, busy bags are a fab way to keep toddlers, well, busy! These take-everywhere activities are not only full of fun, they also challenge tiny fingers and growing brains. All this makes for a happy toddler, and we know what that means – a happy you!
Here are 20 busy bags that will entertain your toddler and prevent ants in pants, whether you’re eating out, in a waiting room or jetting off on a big adventure.
These wooden discs are made for touching, piling, tapping and more touching (they ‘felt’ so nice!) Then the real fun begins – use them as a shapes and colours memory game. (via Dandee)
On the case!
A DVD may entertain your toddler at home, but a DVD case will keep their interest here, there and everywhere. Load it with colouring-in pencils and pages for on-the-go entertainment. (via Unoriginal Mom)
(Almost) good enough to eat
Lunch is served! This felt sandwich set is stacks of fun for your mini-muncher. With bread, spreads and green goodies, this play food will whet kiddo’s appetite for the real thing. (via Imagine Our Life)
It’s a hit!
This lacing game is a winner for its simplicity. Your toddler will be so focused on poking pipe cleaners through golf balls that you won’t hear a peep until they reach the 18th hole. (via Parents Magazine)
Pieces and quiet
Little ones’ brains and fingers will be working overtime solving this homemade photo puzzle. Stick it together and what do they see? Mummy and me! (via All For the Memories)
Here are some ice-creams that toddlers can enjoy all day, everyday (regardless of the season). The aim of the game is to colour-match paddle pop tops to paddle pop bots! (via Ten June)
These red apples are a delicious way to keep toddlers busy. They count the fruit on each stick and peg on the correct number. If apples aren’t your style, choose something else – the world is your fruit basket. (via The Pleasantest Thing)
A formula for fun
Little wooden cubes + printables = one busy toddler! Kiddo lays the blocks into patterns, shapes and letters, so this activity entertains and educates. (via True Aim Education)
Toddlers will be totally absorbed in this sponge strip tower. It’s fun to build and rebuild, which is just as well because what goes up, must come down. 3, 2, 1 DEMOLISH! (via Toddler Approved)
Squishy and fishy
You wouldn’t normally take the ocean to a cafe or surgery, but this ocean sensory bag keeps sea creatures and toddler boredom well and truly contained. And all without sand in their pants. (via Kids Activities Blog)
Shake things up!
I-spy/peekaboo bag, Games To Go ($25): With wooden beads safely sewn inside, this is a tactile take on ‘I Spy’. Toddlers look and feel for pics through their porthole, so it’s a game of cat and mouse (and cupcake!)
Heads and tails
This matching game is based on Eric Carle’s art and toddlers will be reuniting heads with tails, chatting about colour and making animal noises (in their quiet duck voice!) (via Running from the Law)
Toddlers will go wild pegging legs to bodies and creating new species with this animal-themed busy bag. What sound does a zebaffe make (that’s a zebra/giraffe hybrid)? (via And Next Comes L)
Pretty as a picture
Paint chips aren’t just useful for your next home reno, they also come in handy for busy bags! This idea is so easy and so pretty – just pick up a rainbow of paint chips the next time you hit Bunnings, add pegs and you’re done. (via Craftiness is Not Optional)
Making this busy bag is as easy as 1, 2, 3. Take it anywhere for toddler number-bunching – they count out pom poms, then pop a bunch of them into cupcake cases. (via Life over C’s)
Tic-tac-toe is a fab game for home, but comes into its own when you’re out and about. The buttons are cute as can be, and everything packs up into a bag for next time. (via Glued to my Crafts)
Bright as a button
This felt button chain is a crafty way to keep toddler fingers busy. It links colour and texture with practical buttoning skills, so is a perfect little project. (via A Crafty LIVing)
Tots with socks
These socks aren’t odd, they’re awesome! Made from fuzzy felt, your toddler’s mission is to match sock pairs with patterned pegs and hang them out to ‘dry’. It’s good, clean fun. (via Hugs are Fun)
A little bit of LEGO goes a long way with this kit. Kiddo chooses a card to copy, grabs a few bricks and builds the prototype in 3D. There’s a touch of Tetris in this one. (via Fun at Home with Kids)
These washi tape ‘dominoes’ are made for kids and made by them too. Just wrap tape around paddle pop sticks, then match patterns, make letters and more! (via A Crafty Living)
Drinking straw game
A bead maze won’t fit in your bag, but this twist on the idea definitely will. Toddlers colour-match felt squares with crazy straws, then feed the felt along all those bends. Play first, slurp later! (via Glued to my Crafts)