Toddler’s Christmas Gifts: Busy Bags

For ages I’ve been wanting to make those fantastic looking “busy bags” that are all over the blogs, pinterest, and the wide world of the web. But between homeschooling, keeping housing, ministering to our church, and keeping my toddler out of the toilet water and electric outlets and glass dishes, I never seem to find the time for making those crafty little inventions—until I had an “a-hah!” moment organizing my Christmas gift list.

One of our Christmas traditions is to let the kids make gifts for each other rather than buy them, so when I got to wondering what on earth my kids could make Littlest for Christmas, I suddenly had an epiphany of all my pinterest board ideas getting made for me by my incredibly crafty minions children! Voila! What a wonderful gift to Littlest and to me!

And really, they were more than willing, even super excited about the idea. I bought up felt in a variety of colors, some stiff felt and some soft felt. Then, the only other major supplies were a Sharpie marker and a few good scissors (as in new, sharp scissors not kid safety-scissors). My kids are pretty handy with scissors and were closely supervised, so I let them have at. But do proceed with caution.

Toddler busy bags

The felt was very easy to work with. I drew our designs right on the felt and let the kids do most of the cutting. All working together, it took us a little over an hour to make all of these. Very do-able.

Toddler busy bags

We made…

Toddler Busy Bags

 

Toddler Busy Bags

We are all super-excited. The kids can’t wait to play WITH Littlest in his new quiet games. I can’t wait to have a few quiet activities he can do during our school time. And we knocked out two projects in one swoop: a Christmas gift and my busy bag wish list.

Curious about our other homemade gifts? The “big” kids will be making our own story stones for each other. Can’t wait for Christmas!

DIY Reusable Sticker Books

  DIY Reusable Sticker books | toddler activities | travel activities

We are going to be traveling a lot this summer, which means lots of time with small children in confined spaces. Which means, I’ve been brainstorming busy-books. You know, activities to keep little minds and hands occupied. I love reusable sticker books, but often the stickers aren’t as reusable as I’d like. My kids are all excited to get started, and then their favorite sticker gets stuck to a page and tears—and there goes everyone’s peace and sanity. So I started trying to think through how I could make my own DIY reusable sticker books. These turned out so cool that I had to share! They aren’t Etsy-quality; I’m not going into business anytime soon. But if you want a simple craft that keeps your babe busy, then try these reusable sticker books.

Reusable Sticker books:

I made good use of my laminator and binder, but you could easily use contact paper and bind it with yarn or brads or a clip. The only other supply you will need is the internet and removable double-sided tape. (Make sure it is “removable” and not “permanent” tape.)

DIY Reusable Sticker books | toddler activities | travel activities

I searched the internet for coloring pages as the backgrounds for my book, shrinking them to a half page size (google: “free coloring pages table” or “free coloring pages basketball hoop”). I figured by leaving them black and white, the kids could color with dry erase markers or dry erase crayons, changing the scenes and prolonging the entertainment.

DIY Reusable Sticker books | toddler activities | travel activities

For the “stickers,” I searched the internet for public domain clip art (google: “public domain clip art cupcake” or “public domain clip art basketball”). I laminated the clip art and some of our own stickers and cut them out as squares or circles. Then, I simply applied the double-sided tape to the pieces.

DIY Reusable Sticker books | toddler activities | travel activities

Middlest’s book has a cupcake to decorate, a tea party to set up, a bedroom to decorate, and a house to embellish with flowers and butterflies. Oldest wanted a sports theme with a baseball diamond, a basketball court, and a football field with players and other pieces to set up his games. I also gave him a jungle scene with wild animals.

DIY Reusable Sticker books | toddler activities | travel activities

 

DIY Reusable Sticker books | toddler activities | travel activities

The kids had tons of fun helping me make these and did a lot of the cutting for me, which saved a lot of time and kept them busy. And if my stickers start showing some wear, I can always apply new tape!