Thursday, August 11, 2011

Busy Bag #1: Chalkboard & Chalk

Last week over on my facebook page, I mentioned that I would start experimenting with making age appropriate "busy bags" for my little boy, age 18m. I successfully made 8 or 10 little activities for our recent family vacation (an 8hr. drive into the mountains to go camping), and I can say they are successful because my little man loved all of them! So I'm going to share them with all of you other moms & caretakers, because most of them use basic household supplies or inexpensive craft supplies! 

The first one I will share was the easiest... a mini chalkboard & chalk. Simple, I know. If the child "accidentally" colors on the couch, carseat, floor, etc... chalk wipes right off! 

Here are the supplies you need:
-  Small chalkboard (this double-sided one was $1.75 on sale at Hobby Lobby)... It counted as an "unfinished wood" piece, so it was 30% off the normal price of $2.49. 
- Chalk (4 boxes of chalk, 12ct was another $1.49)
- Total Cost: $4 (I actually bought a second one for a friend's daughter, and split all that chalk between the two bags)

The concept of activity bags are to provide simple, inexpensive activities to keep little hands busy for 10-15 minutes, while also introducing various learning concepts (like colors, counting, matching, etc...). Put each activity in a bag (I used quart size ziplock bags with the slider top), then put all the activities into a tote or large bag. Only pull one out at a time, then put it back into it's bag and switch it out for another activity!

Stay tuned for more of the activities I put together! I will share links of various sites where I got ideas. Isn't the internet such a wonderful resource for moms?


  1. I am so excited to see more of your ideas because we are going to visit my in-laws soon (5 hours) and then going to disneyland in 2 months (9 hour drive if traffic is good). So I would love an alternative to putting a dvd player in the car and letting her watch tv the whole way.

  2. Chels, I'm excited about sharing them! So much of what I learn is from other moms of toddlers! Portable DVD players are definitely great for short times, but activities like these can give other options so that's not the first go-to for long drives. So more activities will be posted here in the coming days!