Many of these items, including the pencil pouches, are from the Dollar Tree. A few items came from the Target Dollar Spot and a couple of pouches were recycled from dentist care packages. #MyFrugalLife
Made from more Dollar Tree items. Extra-small sticky-backed fasteners are cut in half to fit the thin popsicle sticks (or you can dye larger tongue depressors).
This little set doesn’t look like it would entertain any toddler for long, but that’s where you’d be wrong! It comes in handy for an extra long restaurant wait or a waiting room game. I wanted a 1-2-3-4 color schematic for my travel set, and the rest of the builders went into a Busy Bin (about 30 blocks total).
Hair Ties Pattern Matching
This is a great one for independent toddler play, as well as an opportunity to discuss colors, numbers and patterns.
To create this busy bag I used blank index cards and traced little guy’s hand and added the rubber band details and a $1 set of hair ties in coordinating colors.
Left and one right hand are attached in pairs with double sided tape and laminated for added durability.
I plan on hole punching these and putting onto an XL binder clip (including the bands) for added fine-motor opportunities.
Give your child free reign to thread the foam discs onto the straw however he or she would like, or give simple one or two step instructions for them to follow (coordinating colors, ABAB or AABB patterns, etc).
I created this bag after seeing it all over Pinterest; however, it is worth noting that the cheap foam material is easy to rip once compromised with the center hole.
I plan on adding some binder reinforcement stickers on each side of the center holes on the foam circles to help increase it’s sturdiness and prevent it from being destroyed by my ‘tinkerer’.
Higher-quality foam material, colored cloth pieces, or even laminated construction paper would be other alternatives.
This game can be adapted into a busy bag with a few cards and animals, or as part of a larger activity (tot trays, sensory bins, etc).
Double-sided flash cards from Target Dollar Spot, laminated at home.
Shleich farm animals also available at Target (we buy them one at a time when we find them on sale and are slowly building our collection).
Dollar Tree Card Games
These three games came in a pack for $1! They are quite low quality on their own, but once laminated, they become a sturdy set for your child to enjoy.
The word matching game is double sided – the other two are single sided, and come with their own instructions on how to play 2-player games with your child. I plan on using them in a more open-ended fashion as part of future busy bags.
Want more ideas to keep your toddler entertained?
Check out my Nursing Busy Bag stash, created when we were weeks away from adding a newborn to our family and looking for creative quiet play ideas)!