Busy Bags – Inspiration and Resources

Part II of this Busy Bag Series continues with an additional 10 Busy Bag Ideas.  Also, at the end of the post, be sure to check out the “Additional Resources” for some great blogs and websites with even more inspiration for your busy bag collection.

A quick reminder that many of these activity bags are great for independent play, but they can also provide wonderful opportunities for some parent-child interactive learning as well.  (This is especially true if you have young toddlers as they will definitely need instruction and “demos” in order to play safely on their own.)  Of course, supervision is recommended with all busy bags as some have smaller parts, and the bags themselves are typically not part of the activity, just for storage. 

Part II: Busy Bags – Inspiration

(For Ideas #1-10, click here.)

11.  Popsicle Stick Shapes This activity is great for fine motor skills as well as shape recognition.

12.  Pool Noodle Stringing – Another great fine motor skill activity with extension options to work on counting, color matching and pattern recognition!

13.  Upper and Lower Case Letter Matching – Foam blocks, bottle caps, plastic eggs, or magnets make for great matching pieces.  Color code the matching blocks to give little learners a place to start.

14.  Race Car Game Board – Younger toddlers will enjoy tracing the path with the car, while older toddlers can play their very first board game.  Let creative little artists color their own boards for an added activity.

15.  Shape Sewing –  These are great for fine motor skill development, shape identification, and pattern recognition.  Pipe cleaners make good “needles,” though do use supervision as the ends can be a tad sharp!

16.  Magnet Faces –  Great for on the go (as they store well in stroller or car seat pockets), these magnet faces are perfect for budding creativity and facial feature recognition.  They are also the perfect size for little hands, and the magnetic backing helps to keep little noses and eyes from falling on the floor.

17.  Felt Cupcakes –  Another great activity for little artists as they can “decorate” their own cupcake.  This also acts as a sort of mini-puzzle as well, and can be used again and again to create something new each time.

18.  Button Matching –  This activity is perfect for toddlers beginning to recognize shapes.  Use them for a simple matching game, or begin to work on name recognition.

19. Popsicle Stick Color Match – A great color-matching activity, toddlers are sure to love the challenge of trying to fit the popsicle sticks inside the felt pockets.

20.  Popsicle Stick Puppet – Slightly older toddlers (or assisted younger ones) will love creating their own stick puppet.  Once completed, they will have a star ready to perform in their very own puppet show!

Additional Resources:

Looking for more ideas for your Busy Bag collection?  Here are some great websites we found helpful in finding inspiration for throwing our Busy Bag Exchange.

Thriving Home – Toddler Busy Bag Swap
Babblin’ Brooke – Busy Bag Exchange and Ideas
Unsolicited Advice – Busy Bag Swaps
The Ringeys – Toddler Busy Bag Swap
Play Create Explore – Busy Bags
Full Hands, Full Hearts – Pinterest Busy Bag Board

Second Story Window – Busy Bag Exchange Tips & Ideas

Also, these fantastic sites are full of inspiration and activities for growing little minds:

I Can Teach My Child             Photobucket

Busy Bags: Part I – What is a Busy Bag?
Busy Bags: Part III – Hosting an Exchange

Shared with:  Mom on TimeoutThe Epic Adventures of a Modern MomTwo-in-DiapersLittle Becky HomemadeSix Sisters StuffFor the Kids FridaysCheerios and LattesI Can Teach My Child



  1. I love your list! Right now, I’m in the middle of 31 Days of Busy Bags and Quiet Time Activities. I’d love for you to stop by.

    Also, be sure to join us on October 31st for a Busy bag & Quiet Time Activity Linky.

  2. I hope you don’t mind, but I am going to share a link to your blog with my mommy group….I think they would love all the great ideas! (And maybe I can convince them to do an exchange!)

    • Of course! Please do. That’s exactly why I wanted to share. Our group used many of these resources, so I wanted to pass them along to others. I hope you are able to do an exchange…we really had a great experience as the moms in our group had some great ideas and did a fantastic job. Good luck to you, and thanks for the comment.

  3. Thanks for this great information. I hosted my first busy bag swap earlier this week and a mom brought and shared one of your ideas. :)

    • How exciting! Thanks for sharing. We had a great time at our swap, and it was fun (and helpful for us in organizing) to compile some of the ideas we found into one place here. Glad it could be helpful! Thanks so much!

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