Busy Bags can be a lifesaver when it comes to keeping toddlers and preschoolers busy. There are lots of reasons you should be using busy bags, but here are 5 main big ones.
Not sure what a busy bag is? Busy bags are activities for children to play with that have been made ahead of time. Sometimes called quiet bins or quiet boxes, busy bags can be a saving grace to a parent that needs to keep a young child occupied for a small amount of time. Items in busy bags can range from educational concepts to things just for fun. There really are no set rules for what goes into a busy bag. If you think your child will play with it for an extended amount of time, it’s fair game. Busy bags are self-contained, almost like a kit of activities. Busy bags take a little effort to make on the front end, but once they are made, you will have an arsenal of activities that can be used at a moment’s notice. Preparing busy bags is definitely worth it!
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5 Reasons You Should Be Using Busy Bags
1) Busy bags make waiting easier. Since busy bags are portable, they can be taken almost anywhere. They make waiting times in the doctor’s office or at a restaurant easier on everyone involved. If you’ve ever had to wait long at the doctor’s office, you know how stressful it can be to keep a little one occupied. If you had a busy bag with you it would be far less stressful for you and much more fun for the kids. Plus, busy bags are screen-free so you won’t have to resort to handing your preschooler your phone. Busy bags can be a lifesaver!
2) Busy bags help you get more done. Busy bags are a great thing to use when you’re trying to accomplish something around the house. Hand your child an engaging busy bag and you’ll have a chance to cook dinner, fold laundry without a little “helper” messing up your neatly folded piles, or help an older child with homework. Or, can you imagine a world where you can sit back and sip your coffee in one sitting without the need to reheat it? Hallelujah.
3) Busy bags support early learning. While there are plenty of busy bags that are made just for fun, busy bags are a great way to support early learning concepts. There are lots of ways to work on early literacy, math, or fine motor skills through the use of busy bags. The bags themselves don’t have to be very complicated to make, but you can do a lot with just a few dollars and a gallon size plastic bag.
4) Busy Bags can help you connect with your kids. While busy bags can be used to keep your kids busy while you do other things or wait somewhere, you can also use use the prepared busy bags to help you connect with your kids. If you already have a stash of busy bags ready to go, you can quickly grab a bag and do a quick activity with your child. Busy bags are easy to pull out and play with. Why not sit down with your child and play along, too? Since most busy bags have a learning component to them, you can feel good about doing a quick learning activity with your child that you don’t have to take time to prep–because the prep work was done ahead of time.
5) Two words: Quiet Time. What do you do when your child no longer naps, but you still need them to have a quiet time? Busy Bags! Set your child up with a box of busy bags or box of activities and let them have a short quiet time while you take a moment to enjoy the silence or get something done without a little one underfoot. Having a set time for kids to play by themselves everyday can be beneficial to their development. It encourages independence and gives them a chance to relax and calm themselves. Training your child to use an engaging busy bag or busy box during their quiet time can keep them out of trouble, too! The most important thing you’ll have to train them on are putting the pieces back in the bag before getting a new one out.
Are you sold on the benefits of busy bags yet? Want a year’s worth of busy bag ideas?
Grab the new book Busy Bags Kids Will Love: Make-Ahead Activity Kits for a Happy Preschooler and a Stress-Free Parent by Sara McClure.
Enter to win a free copy of Sara’s book by commenting below with your BEST tip for helping kids to play quietly! You’ll automatically be entered to win!