Monday, July 30, 2012

Car Ride Activities Set 5

Yes, I'm perfectly aware that this is the third post in a row of busy bags appropriate for car rides. This blog reflects my life and right now prepping for my upcoming trip is my life. I am constitutionally incapable of doing anything in half measures. I am somewhat completely obsessively determined to have two activities per hour of the car ride (one for each child and then they switch). I'm anticipating 24 hours in the car. 24x2=...48. Sometimes being slightly OCD comes in handy. Sometimes not so much. Tune in after the trip to see which category this obsession falls into. If you're interested, see the Car Ride Activities Set 3 and Car Ride Activities Set 4. In order to avoid having to do about 10 consecutive posts like this I'm going to start covering 10 busy bag ideas per post instead of just five.

Car Ride Activities Set 5

Busy Bag 11: Home for a Spider

I cut and circle and then cut notches around the circumference of the circle. Then I painted the circle black and taped one end of a long string to the center back of the circle. I also made a spider out of pipe cleaners. The kids will wrap the string around the circle to make a spider web for the spider. You could also make a white circle and use light blue yarn to make a snowflake for a different theme. Or you could do any color combination and it would still be a beautiful non-thematic project. Older children can focus on weaving patterns to make a variety of interesting results. Younger children will weave randomly resulting in a more spiderweb like creation. Insipiration here.

Busy Bag 12: Golf Tee Marble Balancing

I enlisted my husband's help with a single polite request (or perhaps a little begging and pleading) for this one. He cut some pieces of wood and drilled holes in them for me. We did two different shapes for variety, but I wanted one as a 3x3 grid so that in future years the children can play tic-tac-toe with them. Then just stick the drilled wood pieces in a bag with some golf tees and marbles. The idea is for the children to insert the golf tees in the holes (great fine motor activity with color identification and pattern making potential) and then try to balance marbles on top of the golf tees. Insipiration here and here. For a slightly different version using a foam block instead of wood blocks here.

Busy Bag 13: Color Tint Clothespin Match

Grab a few paint samples like these. Trim a strip down the edge of the samples the width of your clothespins. Then tape or glue those small colored strips onto the edge of the clothespins. That's it. You're done. Stick them in a bag (unattached) and the children have to match and attach the clothespins to the appropriate spots on the paint sample strips. This task works on a more complex version of color identification and strengthens fine motor skills. Insipiration here.

Busy Bag 14: Magnetic Paper Clip Sort

I found adhesive backed magnetic strips at our local big box store for less than a dollar. I stuck one strip to each of four jumbo sized popsicle sticks and then colored around the magnet strips with sharpies to match the four colors of paper clips I happened to have. Done. The children will sort the paper clips by color and attach them to the color coordinated stick via the magnetic strip. Insipiration here. For a slightly different version without magnets here.

Busy Bag 15: Felt Picture - Rainbow

I just sat down with my felt stash and cut the basic component shapes out along with a black square background. The pieces will be separate in the bag and the children will have to assemble the picture almost like a puzzle. Insipiration here.

Busy Bag 16: Felt Fraction Circles

To continue the theme of puzzle like activities with felt, next I made some simple fraction circles from felt. I just cut them out and used a sharpie to write on the fractions. The activity is really just about assembling the four circles. They might do some role playing pretending it is pie, but we'll have to wait and see. Insipiration here.

Busy Bag 17: Treasure Chest Jewel Sort

I took a small case that Ava's hair bands came in and dumped all the hair bands out. Then I found some jewels from our craft stash and sorted out six colors of all five shapes. I could wish the craft jewels had come in six shapes, but not everything can be perfect. That's it. I'm tossing the jewels and the box in the bag and the task is to sort the treasure into the individual sections of the treasure chest by either color or shape. If I had an endless supply of time and energy, I would decorate the case to make it look more like a treasure chest, but they can just use their imagination. This activity is great for fine motor skills, color and shape identification, sorting, and possibly even patterning. I was inspired by my own eyes wandering over my craft shelf.

Busy Bag 18: Button Sorting and Lacing

A while back, while making a craft/art supply order I saw this bag of buttons and wanted them. I had the vague idea they might make a nice collage material. I haven't touched them since. The bag was still unopened. I opened up the bag and sorted out a bunch with holes large enough for some plastic lacing string I bought when I was making busy book pages. Then I tossed the buttons and the laces into a bag for a button sorting and lacing activity. I was inspired by my own eyes wandering over my craft shelf.

Busy Bag 19: Nuts and Bolts Play

This one is pretty simple and yet the kids seem to love it. Just stick a few long bolts and matching nuts and washers in a bag. They screw them on and take them back off. They try to see how many nuts will fit on one bolt. They can make a pattern (one washer, one nut, one washe, one nut). Insipiration here.

Busy Bag 20: Simple Front-Back Puzzles

I found some great free printable animal flashcards. I printed them, cut them out, and laid them out on some cardstock and traces squares around them. Then I cut them in half and glued half of the picture onto the cardstock squares. The other half of the flashcards are the puzzle pieces. Insipiration here.

If you like these activities, you may be interested in more.


  1. What great ideas! definitely going to test a few myself. Thanks for sharing! :)

  2. Oh my goodness! I'm in awe of all of the bags you've created. Great ideas! So cool to see the felt rainbow idea recreated, too :)

  3. Fantastic! Thanks so much!!!

  4. You are the best! Thank you so much!! :)


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