Anyone with a toddler knows the importance of finding something (ANYTHING) that will keep their interest and attention for a few minutes so you can get things done around the house. Having a two year old is intense...they require a lot of hands-on fully-engaged participation nearly every second they're awake (or is that just my two-year old?). Now that we also have a baby in the mix, it's SO important for me to find a few activities that can occupy my wild child so I can tend to the newest member of the family.
Enter busy bags!
I'm sure you've seen these types of activities all over Pinterest. The idea is to come up with a activity that will entertain your toddler, as well as teach them basic concepts like matching, sorting, fine motor skills, sequencing, alphabet, counting, colors, etc. Busy bags can be elaborate or simple, home-made or store-bought. Just so long as they do the trick of holding your kid's attention for a few minutes.
Once again, the fabulous Erinn of Strawberry Swing and Other Things came up with a great idea to do a busy bag swap with a few other moms of toddlers. The traditional busy bag swap usually requires that each person make a bag for everyone participating the swap. That's a LOT of work. So, being a busy mom of two and respectful of everyone's time (thank you, Erinn!), she only asked that we make one busy bag for another mom and receive one. This was my saving grace and gave me the opportunity to make a fun busy bag for Ethan (son of Natasha from Schue Love). Head over there to see the busy bag activity we came up with for him and come back next week for a tutorial on how we made it.
We hit the busy bag swap jackpot when Emily from Dear Own & Co. drew our name. Emily went above and beyond and created the most amazing busy bag/box I've ever encountered! Prepare yourself to be blown away...
Emily created a sandwich shop for Mac, where he can put together fancy gourmet creations for us.
The shop came with an assortment of felt sandwich fixings (everything from 2 different types of bread, pickles, onions and cheese) with matching food pieces (with velcro on the back) that he can attach the the awesome clipboard while taking orders.
I love that Emily thought to include Mim on this. Mac loved that he was making a sandwich for the baby.
She even included an adorable apron for "Chef Mac."
This busy bag does it all and there are so many different ways to use it. It teaches how to follow directions and take an order. It helps him learn sequencing, by putting the ingredients in order on the sandwich.
It also helps him with identifying foods and categorizing them. It helps him with matching, by finding the food that matches the picture. And teaches him assembly and fine motor skills.
I can't even tell you how much we love this busy box. Mac thinks it's the coolest thing ever and has requested to play with it a dozen times since we opened it a few days ago. I love that it's safe for him to do all by himself while my hands are busy with the baby. Although he has tried to eat the food a few times. Silly boy. He's now requesting sandwiches for lunch more often too and willing to try some of the fixings (like bacon and pickles).
Thank you SO MUCH for this amazing activity, Emily! You are THE BEST. I can't even begin to tell you what a lifesaver this is going to be for us.
Make sure to check out Emily's blog next week for a tutorial on how she made this busy box and all the amazing things it can do.
Since this is an idea swap (we need all the ideas we can get), we'd love for you to participate as well! Today we're sharing all about the busy bag we received, next week (Monday, September 15) we will be sharing how we made our own busy bags and we'd LOVE for you to link up a busy bag idea as well. If you'd like to join in, just post your busy bag idea next week and link up on any of the blogs listed below.
And make sure to check out these other participating blogs to get some new ideas on fun busy bags to entertain your toddler.
Erinn at Strawberry Swing and Other Things
Have you ever made a busy bag?
What's your favorite busy bag idea for entertaining a toddler?