Busy bags can be a life saver when you're out and about or travelling - and I love to make my own (sometimes rather haphazardly thrown together). But if you'd like someone else to do that for you (who also has a teaching background I might add) then look no further than Bianca from Flying Sprout.
So Miss M got busy testing them out - and I got to thinking about how they could be easily adapted to suit children of various ages and abilities with a few simple alterations.
*Kindly gifted for the purpose of this review
Task - sort the coloured paper clips into colour groups and attach them (or just place them) on to the coloured cards.
Skills - sorting, colour identification, counting, fine motor, language.
To make it easier - simply place and sort the cards and paper clips into coloured tubs (see image below)
To make it harder - link the paperclips together in a pattern to make a chain.
We had a lot of discussion about favourite colours and the objects of each colour prompted by the flashcards. Sliding the paper clips onto the cards was still a bit tricky for Miss M so we'll keep practising that (as well as learning how to link them together). We even matched them up with the instruction card and then made a blue/purple pattern. Miss M watched carfeully as I linked them together to make a chain (I think this was her favourite part).
Pineapple Busy Bag
Task - thread the beads onto the string.
Skills - fine motor, pattern, sorting, counting
To make it easier - just focus one one colour or hold the bead for your child while they thread the string though.
To make it harder - thread every single bead onto the string and count how many all together. Create more complex patterns (AA BB, or ABC etc...)
Miss M decided that she was going to make me necklace and that I wasn't allowed to watch (not ideal for blog photography but oh well)! She called me back when it was finished and I was then allowed to take my photo. Thoughtfully, she made it all green for me (my favourite colour) and then I made one for her. The beads are a great size for preschoolers and are easy to thread. A great way to keep them busy, encourage concentration and fine motor skills.
Apple Busy Bag
Task - Arrange the pop sticks in numerical order and then stick the correct number of paper clips on to the magnetic strip
Skills - counting, numeral identification, 1:1 correspondence + explore objects that are magnetic!
To make it easier - remove numbers 6-10 and just focus on 1-5
To make it harder - link all of the paper clips together and count the total. Come up with different ways to make 10 (eg 3 + 7, 4 + 6 etc...).
I loved watching Miss M when she was playing with this busy bag. She would test out every number and say "does 6 go here? no... does 7 go here? no..." until she got to the right one.
Do you have a go to busy bag or activity that you throw in your bag as you walk out the door with the kids?