I mentioned last night that I would share with you my lovely, coveted (for lack of a better word) “busy bag” stash. I had originally planned to photograph each bag individually and show it’s contents but, my friends, I have far too many bags to overload my WordPress with that many photos 😉
So, I took a couple group shots for you and because I love you each so much and want to make things easier for you, I have included an ENTIRE list of each bag and where you can find the FREE Downloads for them (simply click on the underlined titles or words). Now a few of the bags are ones I created myself with items I already had so those you will just have to try to revamp to make your own or maybe you will be as lucky as I and have them lying around 🙂
Before I get started, I want to share a Groupon deal with you that I stumbled across today because it is too incredible not to share. I am talking about Canvas Prints starting at just $6.99!!! It’s REAL! I got two 20×13 Canvas Prints for a price that should be considered ROBBERY! Better hurry though because it is only good for 3 more days. You can find these incredible offers here 🙂 (You’re welcome!!!)
Okay now on to “BUSY BAGS”!!
Why “Busy Bags”?
1. They are great for allowing your child to learn while playing at the same time. They actually HAVE FUN while stretching their minds and learning things that are important.
2. They are called “Busy Bags” because they actually keep your children busy which allows you to be able to change out that load of laundry, get that paper written for that class you are taking or feed the newborn you are trying to care for also during the day. Whatever your need for some busy time for your little one, so many of these will fill the spot!
3. They are fantastic for road trips and easy to store. Throw them all in a small tote bag in the back seat and your child has hours of QUIET, educational and fun entertainment to make that drive so much easier.
And without further adieu…
The Delgado Family Busy Bag Collection
Letter Stencils: This bag is one I did myself with stencils I had purchased from The Dollar Tree as well as a Dry Erase Paper Line for Him to write on. Throw in a Dry Erase marker and you are all set 🙂
Tangram Puzzles: Also a bag I made with the set of Tangram Puzzles I purchased at The Dollar Tree.
Two-Sided Puzzles: These I had on hand. They were these adorable small, thick, 2-sided print wooden puzzles that Maximus received in one of his monthly boxes from Citrus Lane. We only did used this service for a few months before I cancelled the subscription but we are about to re-subscribe. Each month they would send him snacks and toys that were perfect for his age 🙂 He misses getting that surprise each month.
Trivia & Quiet Games: Don’t laugh but these were comprised of 3 different toys in my son’s Chick-fil-a lunches 🙂 We LOVE Chick-fil-a and the fact that they give educational toys? EVEN BETTER. The ones we have are: Rock, Paper, Scissors; 5 Second Rule – Just Spit it Out and 100 Wacky Things.
First Words Writing: I made this one with a set of “First Words” Flashcards I found at The Dollar Tree and simply threw in another one of the Dry Erase Paper Line boards I had and a dry erase marker. Easy Peasy 😉
Now for the Free Downloadable Ones:
Hot Chocolate Mats: I LOVED these. They are seriously so adorable. They include an entire set of these adorably designed Hot Chocolate Mugs with these cute little faces on them. Each of them has a number on it. You put them in the bag along with a bunch of white or multi-colored small sized pom-poms. The idea is that they pick a card and then have to add the number of “marshmallows” that are listed on the mug. The download includes a set in color and black and white so you can decide how you want to print them. These are GREAT for teaching numbers and even math 🙂
Block Puzzles: I bought several packages of colored foam blocks at The Dollar Tree. I threw a set in along with these block puzzle cards. They are great for teaching about patterns and learning how to estimate. Also another great one for math skills as you can have them count how many of each color it took and then the total they had to use for each puzzle.
Shape Tracer & Matching: Easy way to teach your little one their shapes. They can trace each shape as they match with the coordinating shape card. Print them on card stock, laminate them and throw in a dry erase marker so that you can reuse them again and again.
Letter Lacing: Another fun and easy activity. I love this one because besides the fact it teaches sight words and the alphabet, it also helps with hand-eye coordination 🙂 I used small wooden alphabet beads and a pipe cleaner. We love it!
Bottle Cap Phonics Cards: This one can be done one of two ways. You can collect water bottle caps that you write each letter of the alphabet on (which we are doing each time we get one) or you can just be sure your cards are laminated like mine are and just simply have them practice writing. I like to have him do both so he can practice his spelling and letter recognition but also his handwriting 🙂
Sight Word List & Writing: I found this great Sight Word List and that I printed on card stock and laminated. This is also a great assessment to use on your child to keep track of their progression with sight words. I want to teach Mister M to be able to read by using letter sounds but I also think it is good for him to recognize words as well until he is able to fully understand and use his letter sounds. I also added a laminated Writing Sheet that he can use to practice writing as he is learning each one.
Letter & Number Tracing: Love this one. I printed each sheet and laminated them and threw in a dry erase marker. This set comes with the entire Alphabet and a sheet of numbers plus a blank writing sheet for them to practice on their own. I am a huge fan of this woman’s site. She is also amazing because she has her OWN Curriculum that she sells. It is downloadable or can be purchased via CD’s that are mailed to you. The prices are crazy affordable and the curriculums are seriously incredible. Her curriculum is one I am strongly in the running for using for our K-5th grade lessons! You have to check it all out while you are there!
Name Tracing: This one is pretty self explanatory and the best part is that this site actually allows you to CUSTOMIZE the printable with your child’s name or whatever you would want on it really. I printed this on card stock, laminated it and threw in a dry erase marker. Great way to help your little one learn to write their name and recognize it 🙂 I am working on printing and laminating one that will also teach him his address and phone number and emergency numbers in case he should ever have to call 9-1-1 🙂
Maze Play: I recently discovered that my son LOVES to do mazes so I went and found some adorable ones. I also found an adorable Pete the Cat one and printed it as well. Mister M LOVES Pete the Cat. 🙂 As with all my cards and sheets, I laminated these and threw in a dry erase marker so he can reuse them over and over. These are so good at helping your children learn problem solving and work on their critical thinking skills.
Animal Sorting: This particular busy bag can be used in a few ways. I laminated each card so they will last. You can use them to teach all the animals and discuss each one. You can group them together based on species, the environments they are found in and even which animals might eat the others. There are so many possibilities. This download included some extra blank labeled cards so I laminated those and threw in a Dry Erase marker so Mister M can try to draw them. He is an avid little artist as I mentioned in yesterday’s blog 🙂
Color Puzzles: Simple and easy way to teach your child to not only recognize their colors but also to recognize the sight word for each of them.
Rhyming Puzzles: We have not used these much but as Mister M starts to really focus on learning to sound things out and understanding what it means to rhyme more these easy cards will be a great way to help him learn 🙂 I also subscribe to this site because they offer a LOT of free printables and activities that are so great and are grouped according to age and grade.
I Spy Games: This activity has both the downloadable sheet with coordinating cards as well as Two I Spy books that Mister M got from Chick-fil-A. I loved this activity but I will warn you. This one took me a LOT of time to compile. This activity has the sheet of course with all the objects on it and then there is a small card FOR EACH AND EVERY OBJECT. You have the child draw a card and then they have to find the object on the sheet. I, being the person I am, had to have it colored So I and a good friend literally spent over two hours coloring each object on the sheet and then coloring the cards to match. It was NUTS but well worth it 🙂 Maximus loves this!
Graphing Colors: I could not for the life of me remember which site I found this worksheet on. There are a TON of them all over Pinterest and more if you were to Google it. This one is easy also and could quite frankly be done via Excel. This link takes you to one site I found on Pinterest but there doesn’t appear to be a download. It gives you an idea of how to create it should you not find one just like it. I threw in another set of the color foam blocks and use this to teach math and number skills.
10 Commandments Lap Book: I actually created this lap book awhile back for the Awana’s Class I temporarily helped to teach. I fell love with it so I made an extra one for Mister M before I ever even made the decision to homeschool. This one is special to me because it reminds me of the fact that God prepares us and equips us to do something long before we realize we will be doing it. That’s pretty awesome. For this one you just need a file folder and some popsicle sticks. Any color will do. I laminated all my cards and colored everything that wasn’t colored 🙂 It’s awesome sauce and great for helping your little one learn the Commandments of our Lord and instill in them that are consequences when we disobey 🙂
And last but not least:
Road Map Fun: This one is just a cute for fun activity. It is good because it can teach them about staying in lines and encourages creative thinking and planning skills without them even realizing it. This set comes with the little map and three little printable cars 🙂 I printed mine on cardstock and laminated them of course but I also keep a couple of my sons toy cars in there in case he would rather use them.
And there you have it. My entire “Busy Bag” collection (thus far anyways). There will be more because I am seriously addicted to this entire concept. I LOVE IT. I am excited to make some this summer and maybe even do one that has sand and seashells in it. That might be a “tad” messy but still awesome 🙂
Tomorrow I will work on actually photographing EACH and EVERY bag and then create a viewable album on my DropBox that I can share so that you can view all the images in detail.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me. Have fun with this. You can make your own. You can download these or you can find HUNDREDS, even THOUSANDS more all over the web. They are a great resource.
I pray your day was wonderful and blessed. Until next time…