Busy bags can keep your toddler or preschooler happily entertained while you’re homeschooling your older children. So what is a preschool busy bag and how do you make one? If you want some busy bag ideas to get started, you’ll want to read this post!
Picture it: You’re just making progress with your first grader’s phonics lesson when your toddler or preschooler wakes from his nap. He demands attention now. The phonics lesson is interrupted, the first grader gets discouraged, the preschooler feels left out, and you’re frustrated. What do you do with preschoolers who want to do school with older siblings?
Or maybe you’re a new homeschooler just starting out with preschool. You want fun educational activities but you want to keep things informal and playful. You could spend all day searching Pinterest for ideas that may or may not pan out — or you could pick up a copy of Busy Bags Kids Will Love by Sara McClure and solve your problem right now.
You can also set up a simple to follow preschool daily schedule at home to get in a routine and use busy bags as part of that routine, too. Be sure to include things like these editable name writing pages for practice, too! Finding the best educational tv shows for kids can help in a pinch. Try including these preschool button activities for more inspiration!
Busy Bags Kids Will Love
What are busy bags? According to author Sara McClure, they’re “make-ahead activity kits for a happy preschooler and stress-free parent.” These activity kits include sensory bins, craft sticks, felt, and math counters/manipulatives to name just a few items. The book explains exactly how to make them with tons of clever ways to use them for learning fun. Here are a few for example:
- activities for counting, patterns, and sorting objects
- activities for letter identification, matching uppercase and lowercase letters, and forming letters
- activities for strengthening fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination
- activities just for fun using felt, matching games, and a velcro version of paper dolls (we love that one!)
Most of the activities can be put together with things you probably already have on-hand around the house, especially if you generally keep a well-stocked homeschool supply for arts and crafts. The activities are ideal for the 2-6 year old age range.
Busy Bags Kids Will Love is 128 full-color glossy pages with close-up photos to show the activities and how to make them. It’s such a handy reference guide. It can literally save you hours of time spent on Pinterest, hoping to find an activity that will actually work and that you have the supplies for and that won’t be a waste of time. Believe me, I’ve been there.
There are 52 different ideas, which means you could have a new one for every week of the year! No worry about boredom for your little ones.
The book begins with a great introduction explaining busy bags, a.k.a. quiet boxes, and how and why you should use them. It also includes a list of 100 things kids should know before entering kindergarten. So handy!
The rest of the book is then divided into four sections:
Part 1: Math
Part 2: Literacy
Part 3: Fine Motor Skills
Part 4: Just for Fun
Whether you’re a mom who needs some “me time” to get things done while keeping a toddler occupied or you want to provide your preschooler with educational “school” activities while your older kids get some homeschooling done, Busy Bags Kids Will Love is chock full of great ideas.
Need ideas for even younger ones? Learn how to make sensory bags for babies.
About the Author
Sara McClure is a former teacher with a Master’s Degree, specializing in Early Childhood Education. She’s now a stay-at-home homeschooling mom to her two sons and one daughter. She has both the educational and real-life experience to be an expert in busy bag activities! She also blogs at Happy Brown House.
You can purchase Busy Bags Kids Will Love online at Amazon.
Sensory Bin Ideas for Toddlers and Preschoolers
I’ve written on the topic of sensory bins a few times because I think they are a really great learning through play tool in the early years. You can find many more ideas in these posts:
- 27 Valentine’s Day Books for Kids - January 29, 2024
- 29 Must Read Winter Books for Kids - January 18, 2024
- Learning Styles and Homeschooling: How to Teach the Way your Kids Learn - January 5, 2024