Thursday, May 10, 2012

Busy Bags - Vacation Style

As I shared on Sunday in my Thirty-One Post, I showed the two Organizing Totes I purchased for my boys.  The main reason I wanted those bags was to create "busy bags".  Busy bags are basically bags that house all kinds of fun, quiet activities for each boy that we can carry in the car when we go away.  They will also be used for trips to some one's home and need to take toys - they boys will be able to pick toys to take without me needing to shove them in my purse!! 

My original plan was to make all kinda of creative things to put in the bags.  Then it was 2 days before we were leaving and I had nothing! HA  I made a trip to Walmart to dig through their Dollar bins, printed coloring pages, put markers in containers, bought some fun snacks, made a snake or two, and found some fun toys (without parts so nothing could get lost) that the boys enjoy playing with and shoved them in the bag. 

Here's a simple photo of what I put in the bag and I will list everything I put in them:
My original plan was to make everything for their bags.  Well, then it was 3 days before vacation and that wasn't happening! Instead, I made a few things and then went searching for a few other things at home.  The key was finding things that were small, fun, and didn't make a ton of noise. 

First up, the things we already owned:  I packed matchbox cards, other little cars and some trains, fun microphones, little etch-a- sketches, movies, and books.

Then, I made several things. 
I printed, laminated, and cut apart this simple alphabet puzzles that I found over at OVer the Big Moon.  I added some magnetic tape to the back of each piece so that they could be used with the cookie sheet I packed in each bag to use with several of the activities.  Originally I was going to do two full sets but instead, I took about 6 sets of cards and put them in a Ziplock bag; then each boy got two sets in his bag to play with while on the ride. 

I found this great printable over at Make Take Teach to use on the cookie sheet and picked up the magnetic letters at Wal-Mart for about $1.00. 

I loved this Popsicle puzzle idea from Flip Chick Designs.  I also purchased a scrapbook set from Just so Scrappy to get my images (her work is just adorable!).  A couple of things I learned 1)I have no idea how to turn her files into Jpeg files to print the designs through Walmart so I just printed them on regular paper.  When using modge podge you have to be a little careful because the paper likes to tear and the ink will run but it worked ok.  2) Pre-cutting the shapes was very difficult - notice the zebra?  Apparently I am not good at measuring.  Instead, I modge podged the entire picture as a whole to the sticks (see the little boy).  Once it was dry, it was easy to cut the sticks/paper and it looked much better.  3) Line the sticks up and run one piece of tape down the back of it to hold them together.  Otherwise they will move all over the place when you paint on the modge podge!

No, I didn't make these but I did buy them!  The boys already had one dinosaur each from Easter; but what fun is it to play with just one?  I picked them each up another one at Wal-mart for $1.00 to add to their bags.

I shared this little guy a few weeks ago from Craftomaniac in a Too Cute Not To Toot post.  Well, we had tons of Easter Eggs left so I wanted to make each of they boys one of these.  I didn't get a picture of mine but you can see one of them in the photo showing all of the stuff in the bag.  I'd like to say that these were easy to make but they weren't!  Threading the Fishing line through the holes on the eggs about drove me insane HA! Hopefully the boys like them :-)

I really love the idea of busy bags and want to continue to look for more ideas to put in the bags that grow with the boys.  I'm sure they get bored in riding in the truck so this is a sure way to keep them entertained!