Learn how to make your own super simple busy bag kits to keep your kids entertained all summer with these easy ideas from Alisha!
Busy bags are great go-to activities for learning, problem-solving, and creativity. And they are perfect to help your child practice independent play.
Make your bags super simple or more complicated, depending on your child’s age or interests.
Your summer activity plans just got way easier!
Take a peek at these busy bag ideas for road trips.
How to Make Your Own Super Simple Busy Bags
The first step is to gather the bags that you will be using to keep everything together. Keeping everything organized is essential.
I chose these pencil pouches (affiliate link) because they are big enough to hold all the items. Plus they are colorful and sturdy.
I also like that they have 3-hole rings to use in a binder or with an O-ring. That makes it way easier to take organize everything without taking up too much space.
Once you have your bags, you are ready to choose your activities and fill them up.
I’ll share five of the activities that we use, but there are many more you can choose to use as well.
Build a DIY sticker busy box for independent play!
Super Simple Busy Bag 1: Craft Stick Color Sorting
This busy bag provides your child with an opportunity for sorting practice and color recognition.
- Colored craft sticks (affiliate link)
- Paint sample swatches
The objective of this bag is for your child to match the correct color craft stick to the coordinating paint swatch.
My children like to lay out all of the paint swatches and then lay each craft stick on the matching color.
Get craft sticks that are already dyed different colors. Or DIY your own by putting color coding with stickers, paint, or marker dots.
You can pick up paint sample swatches are free at any home improvement store. To build color word recognition, write the colors on each swatch.
Super Simple Busy Bag 2: Cutting Practice
This fun busy bag provides your child with an opportunity to practice their creative cutting skills.
- Card-stock or note-cards
- Scissors (affiliate link)
- Small tray that fits inside the bag
The objective of this busy bag is to provide your child with various designs to improve their fine motor skills and manipulation of scissors. The scissors in the materials list are safety scissors, so this busy bag is safe to promote independence when cutting.
Simply draw various lines and shapes on a variety of note-cards and have your child cut on the lines.
Add in a tray for on-the-go mess control. One great idea is to use a slim sandwich container.
Super Simple Busy Bag 3: Count and Clip Number Cards
This busy bag is designed to teach number recognition and counting, with a little fine motor practice thrown in as well.
Practice number sense with a card counting math activity.
- Printed cards or note-cards
- Optional: laminating pouches
I love this classic count and clip activity for road trips! It’s an easy, fun way to practice number skills disguised as a game.
My children make this busy bag into a game by placing the cards in a pile and then flipping one over at a time to count and clip the correct number.
You could even make enough count and clip bags for all of your children. Then challenge them to race one another!
I love these number cards (affiliate link), but you can make your own really easily. Draw little pictures on a card, then write a few different number choices on the bottom.
Another clip card idea uses letters. Pair an easy-to-identify picture with several letters on the bottom. Your child can put the clip on the letter the picture starts with.
Whether you choose letters or numbers, be sure to include an answer key in the bag or on the back of each card.
Super Simple Busy Bag 4: Craft Stick Alphabet Puzzle
This busy bag promotes letter recognition, alphabetical order, and uppercase-lowercase matching.
- craft sticks (affiliate link)
This busy bag is so incredibly simple to make! But the actual activity will take some guidance and practice.
You’ll need 52 craft sticks. Plain or colored craft sticks work equally well.
On 26 of the sticks, write uppercase letters. Write lowercase letters on the rest of the craft sticks.
To start out using this bag, it might be easier to put each set of letters into separate baggies. Later, you can mix up the uppercase and lowercase letters together.
Challenge your child to put the uppercase letters in alphabetical order. Then, match the lowercase letters to the uppercase letters, by laying them on top of each other.
When this busy bag is complete, it looks like an alphabet puzzle!
If you decide to mix the letter sets together, you could color code the craft sticks.
Put a small sticker or colored dot on each craft stick. Pick one color for uppercase and a different color for lowercase.
Super Simple Busy Bag 5: Noteworthy Notetaking
This busy bag works on manipulation of a writing utensil as well as creativity and pretend play.
Add some practical pretend play ideas into your schedule!
- Writing utensil
My daughter because she loves to “take notes!”
She’s not actually taking notes since she’s only three. But she loves pretending to do this grown-up activity!
My kids both enjoy pretending that they are detectives, writers, teachers, and reporters as they take notes and journal their thoughts and ideas.
Stick a few small notepads and pens or pencils into your busy bag. Pick out notepads with funky covers and use colored pens!
For fun, I found a giant pen to use. It is just so silly and they love it, but any writing utensil will do.
How to Play with Super Simple Busy Bags
There is no one perfect way to use them.
The most important thing is to teach your child how to use their busy bags. When they have confidence, they’ll be able to play independently!
And independence keeps the peace.
Use them as needed for learning fun, busy play, teaching independence, and hands-on happiness. Add new super simple busy bags to your stash as needed to keep things fresh!