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Busy Bags

Busy Bags
One of the greatest activities I’ve ever set up for M (now 4.5) is our collection of busy bags. We take these busy bags everywhere.
Seriously, they come to restaurants, doctor appointments, on vacations, and even during quiet time in M’s room (our substitution for nap time).
busy bags
I started out by picking up about a dozen zippered pencil pouches. You can find these at a dollar store or at the grocery store for around $1 each. Then, I filled them with all sorts of fun, themed activities.
preschool busy bags


  • Use inexpensive supplies for your busy bags. Most of ours are from Dollar Tree, Target dollar spot, or from around the house.
  • Use what you have on hand right now and then add things to each bag as you find them. This will not only be easier for YOU to get started, but it will also add a new twist to busy bags that will continue to encourage the use of them.
toddler busy bags

Ideas for Busy Bags

Play Store Busy Bag

  • calculator
  • price stickers
  • sticky notes
  • pencil
  • notebook
  • receipt paper

Little Artist Busy Bag

  • markers
  • crayons
  • paper (small notebook, cards, or sticky notes)

Miss Sticky Busy Bag

  • tons and tons of stickers
  • small notebook or paper stapled together

Open and Close Busy Bag

a combination of:
  • bottles
  • pouches
  • tubes to open and close
  • weekly pill storage containers that flip open
  • a handful of coins or tiny objects to hide in the containers

Finger Puppets Busy Bag

  • Ikea has a great selection of finger puppets at awesome prices!
  • If you don’t have finger puppets you can include small characters that your child likes to pretend with or tell stories with (from sets you already own, happy meal toys, dollar store toys)

Cut it Up Busy Bag

  • scissors and things to cut
  • straws
  • small tub of play dough
  • ribbon
  • paper strips

Fix-it Kit Busy Bag

**M’s favorite!**

  • eye glass repair kit (from dollar store)
  • small sewing kit (from dollar store)
  • band aids
  • small measuring tape
  • tape
Remember, these can be very simple and will still peak curiosity and interest because of the way they are packaged and presented.
What other items have you found that fit well into these themed busy bags? Which one does your child like best?

Written by Jill


Wednesday 23rd of December 2015

Besides an eyeglass kit and sewing kit what is in your "fix-it" busy bag? It seems to be in the same pouch as the calculator and stickers so not sure.

preschool mum

Sunday 10th of March 2013

I love the zipper bags but unable to find them in australia. Would u consider posting just the zipper bags to Australia if so how much would u charge? Thanks


Thursday 28th of February 2013

Love the store and fix-it bags! Great ideas!


Thursday 24th of May 2012

That looks like a great, simple idea!

Cora Rules

Tuesday 22nd of May 2012

Oh, these are great!! I will be on the look out for some of these items to put together some busy bags for my little ones.