Monday, July 29, 2013

Farm Busy Bag

Another Busy bag I put together was a farm busy bag. This bag required just me pulling some things together. I pulled out four books about farms that we already had and the little barn with stuffed animals that make noise.

We recently used this busy bag for a trip to the vet and it kept Little Guy busy for close to an hour!

Simplicity!  What would you add?

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Color Busy Bag

So I am enjoying putting together busy bags!  (Can you tell?) One skill that  I have been working with Little Guy on is recognizing colors, so a color themed bag seemed perfect!

I put together this simple color matching activity, using clothespins and felt.  This idea came from The Pleasantest Thing.

This activity is great fine motor practice, as Little Guy has to thread the beads onto the pipe cleaners.  This idea came from Mrs. Kelly's Kindergarten.  I cut the pipe cleaners in half, making them fit into a spice jar.

The beauty of the spice jar is that it made the pipe cleaners into another activity: pushing the pipe cleaners through the holes in the lid!

I added three books and we were set. The Flaptastic Colors book was a great book to have as each page has a large flap to open to find things that are that color.

So we took this busy bag to the car dealership while we waited for an oil change.  Overall, it kept Little Guy quite busy (in addition to him playing with the stroller).
Putting our new bag to the test!  Stringing the beads.

Working hard to use the clothespin!

After the first use I made a couple of changes to the bag.  I added a little tray to dump the beads in. This is the lid of a small gift box. Little Guy really liked to dump out the beads, but if I wasn't ready, they went all over. The tray should help with that. 

I also changed up the books a little. The titles now included are:
  • White Rabbit's Color Book
  • Brown Bear,  Brown Bear, What Do You See? 
  • Colors
  • Colors (A Baby Einstein mini board book)
  • Colors Nursery Rhyme Concept Book

So that is our color busy bag.

What activities do you have to practice colors?

Friday, July 19, 2013

More Airplanes

Little Guy is still fascinated by airplanes! I thought I would update you on his interest!

One of my friend's husband is a pilot.  At a recent visit to their house, he let Little Guy try on an old headset!  We had brought our book Airport with us.  Once he had a headset, Little Guy found the headsets on the pilots in the book and pointed them out. At first, he was hesitant to put the headset on his head.  Eventually (after everyone else tried them on), he did put them on.  It was super cute! 

Look!  There's the headset in the book!

I have on a headset!

Little Guy to Tower.  Over.

In addition to trying on an actual headset, our airplane collection has grown!

Not only do we have more airplanes, but our book collection has grown, too! We continue to check books out of the library, but now we have a few of our own. The Airplanes book makes different sounds, so it is a fun book.  Airport by Byron Barton is still a favorite, and so is Planes, also by Byron Barton.

Checking out his Planes book!

How do you continue to support your toddler's interests?

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Transportation busy bag

What little boy doesn't love cars? Our next busy bag uses transportation as its theme.

I like activities that pull double (or triple) duty. This matching activity works on 3 skills: color matching, number recognition/ counting, and fine motor. On each clothespin are the colors of the cars to match. Each race car  has a numeral on it (1-6) which corresponds to the number of boxes on the clothespin. Finally, squeezing the clothespin and putting in the car is a great skill!

Of course, there are books included ( Little Guy loves to look at books!).  Two of these books are touchy feely books, which Little guy still enjoys. 

What transportation busy bag would be complete without some trucks? This one has a little bulldozer and fire truck.  The last activity included is a threading activity where you thread the cars onto the shoe lace (thanks Grandma A.). 

What would you add to a transportation themed busy bag?

Friday, July 12, 2013


After we made the tiger and giraffe, we needed some more crafts to make.  Grandma A. suggested we make a butterfly!  This was perfect, as Little Guy has also been loving the butterfly enclosure at the zoo!

To do this, I decided to use clear contact paper and tissue paper.  I cut random shapes from the tissue paper and put them in an old yogurt lid to keep them together.

Little Guy seemed to enjoy it!  This is only the second time we have use the contact paper, and he was fascinated by the stickiness!

All done!
The completed butterfly took us about 3 days.  Little Guy would stick a few pieces of tissue paper on, then would be ready to move on to the next activity.  I would pull the backing back over the butterfly while we were not using it, and tape it down.  This worked well, especially since we did it on his picnic table that is just used for play.

The finishing touch was the googly eyes!  Little Guy is fascinated by them, so I used the hot glue gun to attach them to the outside.

What animals are you making?

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Very Hungry Caterpillar Busy Bag

I love the idea of busy bags.  Since I will be a stay at home mom, there will be times that Little Guy will have to come with me to appointments or other places where there may not be toys for him, so I want to have activities ready to go.  In fact, I am so intrigued by the idea of busy bags that I have a Pinterest board dedicated to them!

I love the story The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle (whom Little Guy shares a birthday with!).  The first thing I did for this bag was to make the story out of felt. (I had a lot of felt leftover from making the Quiet Book, so I only had to buy one piece of purple!)  I got this idea from Familylicious via Pinterest (of course). I cut and hot glued all the different types of food together.  To get Little Guy involved, I had him help me create the butterfly.  I pre-cut the pieces, and had him lay them on the butterfly's wings.

Getting ready!
Hard at work!
Here is our beautiful butterfly!
The complete set of felt items for our busy bag.
The next idea I also got through Pinterest.  This idea is from Here Come the Girls.  I used a craft foam sheet and cut a leaf shape. Then I used a hole punch to put holes around the edge. The caterpillar is made from a red shoelace, a piece of a red pipe cleaner, a piece of a green pipe cleaner, and of course some googly eyes. I hot glued it all together to help make it secure.

Isn't that a cute caterpillar?

The last activity included is bead threading.  I picked up a bag of large wooden beads at the thrift store recently. I painted one red for the head and nine green for his body. I used a green pipe cleaner and glued it into the red bead, which also helped to create a nose. I added ears and eyes (of the googly variety). Little Guy can thread the beads onto the pipe cleaner to make the caterpillar.  This activity fits nicely into a large spice jar.

String a caterpillar.

All done!

All the parts of this busy bag!
So here is the completed bag. It has the felt story, the leaves for lacing, the caterpillar to thread, a book, and a small stuffed caterpillar. I can't wait to try it out!

What ideas do you have for busy bags?

Friday, July 5, 2013

Library bag

Since the beginning of the summer, Little Guy and I are working on establishing routines with what we do daily and weekly.  One of our weekly activities has been to go to the story time at the library.  Naturally, we are getting books every time we are there.  So I decided Little Guy needed a bag to carry his books.  Here it is!

I love that the bag is reversible.  The fabric is all extra fabric that I already had.  The blue fabric matches the apron I made for him and the green is leftover from his Quiet Book.  I ironed in some fusible fleece to give it a little weight.  I did have to purchase the red straps, but that's not too bad for such a cute little bag. The bag ended up being 9 1/2 inches by 10 1/2 inches, just the right size for a little boy!

What have you made lately?

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Another idea for Shaving Cream: Shaving Cream and Trucks

Since Little Guy really enjoyed the shaving cream, I wanted to get it out for us to use again.  This time we went outside, as I feared it might be messier because we used the trucks to drive though the shaving cream.

We started out with shaving cream on the table.  Little Guy seemed a little tentative about the shaving cream.  I was nearby to encourage him.  This activity ended up being a cooperative effort with both us.

Are you sure I can put my truck in there?

It's in!
To help him get going, I started to smear the shaving cream around.  This got him going, too!  We have been talking about colors lately, so I added some food coloring to smear in.  We added yellow first, then a few drops of blue.  Although it is hard to see, the food coloring did a nice job and after it was all mixed in, we had a pretty sea green color.

Time to smear!
Then Little Guy was a little more interested in pushing around the trucks.

Moving the trucks around!
The last thing we did was to wash the trucks in the water table.  He would take a  truck over, swish it around, then put it back on the table.  Then he'd grab another truck, and repeat.  I think this was his favorite part, as he kept rinsing time and time again.

Time to wash!
While Little Guy was rinsing his trucks, I cleaned the rest of the shaving cream off the table.  The only other cleanup was to empty and rinse the water table and trucks, as the shaving cream left a film.

One recommendation is to have a damp towel outside with you.  It was nice for me to wipe off my hands, and Little Guy used it to wipe the shaving cream that was on his arms.

How have you played with shaving cream lately?

Little Guy is 2!

I can't believe it!  How has it been 2 years since Little Guy was born?  He is turning into such a neat little boy (not a baby any longer). 
Here's the birthday boy! (Did you notice his airplane birthday shirt?)
 On his actual birthday, Daddy took the day off of work to spend with us!  When Little Guy came downstairs, a few of his presents were out!  We continued the fun by going out for breakfast.  We came home and opened some more presents.  One thing Little Guy got was a tricycle!  He's still getting the hang of the pedals, but it should grow with him!  (It also has a handle, so Mommy and Daddy can push and steer him!)

His birthday party was on Sunday.  While we had planned a bar-b-que with outside activities, we were going through a heat wave and ended up staying inside!

The birthday had an airplane theme (of course)!

Little Guy's airplane birthday cake.

Checking out the cake!

And blow!

The candles are out!

Oh, it is so yummy!
Little Guy seemed to have a great time!  We were blessed to have friends and family help us celebrate, whether they were there with us or just thinking of us! 

 I can't wait to see what the next year holds!