Thursday, 13 December 2012

Group G - Toddler Busy Bags!

We decided to reduce the group size, to ensure that everyone could attend the swap. People were unable to make the bigger group swaps and it meant a lot of transporting, meeting and sharing out of missed bags! So our trial of a smaller group means 5 Busy Bags in each swap!

'Sort 'em out' Treasure Boxes!

This is a fabulous and well-received activity. My little boy didn't want to get anything else out of his busy bag for a while, and keeps returning to this, though for some reason, mini tractor tyres have to go in the green section, not the black one?! :) We have also added other household objects and bits of toys to vary the activity even further! This activity is great for pre-verbal colour identification and matching, fine motor skill development including pincer-grip and hand eye coordination. Much loved in this house! By Laura of Busy Bags!

Christmas Stocking Decorating!

This was a lovely, straightforward glueing and placing activity. The stocking was pre-made, and the finished product is gorgeous and will probably be on our tree for many many years! The careful squeezing of glue captivated my little boy, and he loved choosing his sequins. This activity supports the development of planning and motor skills (fine and gross). We also used it to help with colour identification (silver and gold) and naming of more unusual shapes (snowflake, gemstone). By Debra of Busy Bags!

Finger Puppets!

Decorate your own finger puppets, with mini clothes, pompoms, feathers and all-sorts! Another great activity that leads into a different form of creative play (puppet theatre?). This activity supports the development of planning, spatial arrangement, dextreity and fine motor control. By Chris of Busy Bags!

Sticky lollipop Sticks!

Isn't is so often true that the simplest ideas are the best? This was a bag of multi-coloured 
 lolly-pop sticks with velcro pieces glued on the ends! Create endless shapes, long lines, houses, whole worlds from the sticks, as well as colour-coded creations. This kept my little one, and his dad (!) amused for ages when we had a delayed food situation!!! It's so small and simple to carry around that its fast becoming tucked into my bag wherever we go! By Sara of Busy Bags!

Mask Decorating!

This is a simple 'paint-it' activity. The fun part of this (apart from making and wearing the masks) is that I tried to make it totally portable! The paintbrush is in there, the little paint pots... the only thing you 'could' add would be a glass of water, but even that isn't needed! Spread out your paper, pop the lids, and paint away! Once they are dry, use the paper clips to attach lolly-stick handles to the masks. This activity supports the development of artistic skill, dexterity and design! By Jewels of Busy Bags!

Group F- Toddler Busy Bags!

This is our last 10-bag swap! With Christmas around the corner, we agreed to meet and swap in groups of five, just to make things more do-able, particularly when making your 10 busy bags! Four of the Ten of us couldn't make it to the swap, and we were all up late the night before; stressing over facebook about getting everything done! I think that the results are beautiful though, and for a mid November swap, we did very well!

Butterfly halves matching game!


This gorgeous little activity is completed by matching up and velcro-ing down little half butterfly wings! This task is good for visual discrimination, spatial awareness, particularly rotation, manual dexterity and aesthetic appreciation! My little 2 and a half year old matched them all up well, but struggled to rotate them as you can see on the blue wing below. It wont be long before he can though! By Sara of Busy Bags!

Shoe-lace tie!

This super little activity was a simple take on the art of tying shoe-laces! Some instruction will be needed here! The threading and making some attempt to tie was enjoyed though, and you can see my son making his first attempt at a bow in the photo. By Debra of busy bags!

Dress-Up Dolls!

This was a very simple activity involving dolls, their clothes and shoes, and magnetic strips!
Dress the dolls however you like, choosing from trousers, skirts, tops, shorts and shoes! This activity is good for developing hand-eye coordination, planning, creativity and fine motor skill. By Jewels of Busy Bags!

Flower Match!

This is a tiny and very portable activity, promoting colour matching, colour name-learning, and number counting, symbol recognition and spot shape recognition! This game will be one to grow with them for some time. By Chris of Busy Bags!

Build a Snowflake!
This is a quirky take on the 'fuzzy-felt' idea of yester-year! ;) You build your own snowflake by placing felt shapes onto a felt board. There are some great concepts built into this activity, including tessellation, symmetry, visual pattern building, as well as the development of fine-motor skill, planning, visual acuity and naming and awareness of shape. By Elly of Busy Bags!

Reflect-o-rama Crown or Tiara!!

This activity was all about choosing and sticking shapes, sparkly 'diamonds' and reflective moose and ghosts (etc!) to a headband. It was a great 'take out' activity because double sided sticky tape was used to fit the crown / tiara and to attach the shapes! We even got more than one use out of ours as my son decided to peel everything off and put it away again! This activity is super for fine motor skills, visual arrangement, spatial awareness and planning. By Karla of Busy Bags!


HelenC - puzzles!

Kathryn - Changing Faces
Kate - Scaley Fishy fun
Pam - Matching shape halves

Group E - Bumps and BABY Busy Bags!

This was our first busy-bag swap designed for babies! The toddlers were most interested, and I'm sure that one or two items didn't make it to their baby siblings at all! It was fun to be creative for younger babies, but equally, babies are easy to please; happy with paper bags and bunches of keys! Here is what we made for the first swap. Enjoy! (I decided to put these photos up before my baby is born. I've a sneaky suspicion that I wont have any free hands!)

High-visibility soft flash-cards!


These were designed to be visually captivating for babies; using simple geometric shapes, faces, and colours that are distinguishable to newborns. Made of soft foam, with no sharp edges, and tied together with shoe-laces. At the time of writing, I have roughly 10 days left before my next baby arrives, so these baby items have been lovingly stashed, away from my enthusiastic little toddler!

Ribbon-Taggy Car-seat toy!

This goes on your baby's car seat, wrap, sling, pram, high-chair, shopping trolley... wherever you are in need of a little entertainment! Visually stimulating, coupled with encouraging reaching, grasping and fine motor skills. By Laura of Busy Bags!


This furry cloud has hidden treasure inside! It hides a bell and crinkly cellophane! I think that it's good for cause and effect development, auditory stimulation as well as being very tactile! By Debra of Busy Bags!

Lava Lamps!

  I am reliably informed that the lids need to be super-glued on for these to work and be safe! Its made from water; sunflower oil (you can use baby oil) and glitter. Food colouring can be added to change the colours. This looks simple but is really gloopy and interesting (I played with mine for about 20 minutes!) The oil, water and glitter combo actually take some time to adjust after being up-ended.... retro and psychedelic! I think that this little gem stimulates visual development, gross motor skill and imagination! By Judith of Busy Bags!

Squooshy Treasure Bags!


 Quote: "The Treasure Bag is mine, all mine!"

These are bags, filled with glitter, objects, shiny things, lumpy things and hair gel! (And sealed really well!!!) As you can see from the photo, they are just dying to be touched and squeezed! These actually smell interesting too! I'd say they are great for discovery-type play, tactile, good for the development of coordination and curiosity! By Elly of Busy Bags!

Fabric Funtime!

And just to show you how simple and easy making busy bags can be; three squares of differently textured material, and bingo! A baby amusement activity! I'd say that this activity develops hand-eye coordination, tactile stimulation, oral texture exploration, grasping and releasing, spatial awareness and the good old skill of 'peek-a-boo!' By HelenS of Busy Bags!