Eeek! We’re going on our first trip this weekend! It’s nothing too crazy, just a USO tour to Frankfurt where they will teach us how to use the train system and then we’ll ride the train up to Frankfurt for the Main River Fest going on this weekend. I’m stoked though, this is what we came to Germany to do! See the world, meet the people, drink the beer!
I’ve started thinking through what I want to pack (or more accurately, how much I can pack for a day trip without looking like the tourist that I am). Having kids of course makes this process harder. Anyone who’s been a parent for very long knows to expect the unexpected, and so while I’m packing an extra change of clothes for each of us and all that good stuff, I’m also trying to figure out what I’ll need to entertain the kids on the train and at the festival.
Thankfully, I already have a lot of stuff prepared and now it’s just a matter of choosing what will work best for the trip, but I thought I would retroactively blog a little bit about our travel stash of busy bags, felt books and quiet time bins over the week just in case anyone else is looking for a bit of inspiration (or should I say P-inspiration, because you all know where these ideas came from ).
First up is our giant stash of busy bags! I did NOT make all of these, that would be ludicrous! But, as you all know, I had the world’s best playgroup in Hawaii and we had several busy bag swaps where we would each make 10 of the same bag and then trade with 9 other people who also made a different bag and everyone walks away with 10 unique bags- it’s genius!
I was inspired by Our Daily Craft to make this bag out of supplies we already had around the house!
Geoboard- Here’s a how to on making a toddler safe geoboard by My Spirited Adventure, I just used nails because it was easier, but hers would be better for a younger child!
Velcro Shapes- This was a bag I got from one of the swaps I attended, the shapes are made out of laminated construction paper and stick with velcro.
Sewing Busy Bag- This one was inspired by Aurora’s desire to “do what I do” and made out of things we already had around, a cross stitch frame, yarn, and plastic needles.
Craft Stick Building Bag- Inspired by Tot Treasures, this was a bag I received from a swap.
Felt Marble Maze- I love giving the kids busy bag items in their stockings and Easter baskets, this was one such item Aurora received. Dragonfly Designs has a great tutorial for making one of your own!
Felt Fishing Game- My poor friend Sara sewed 10 of these sets for a swap last year… Swappers beware, do NOT volunteer to make this bag in bulk! Just Another Day in Paradise has a very cute tutorial!
Lacing Buttons- Another swapped bag, inspired by Mother’s Niche
You can’t beat Play Doh for an easy (albeit messy) busy bag!
Peg Doll Family- I ordered the dolls from Etsy, painted them and made them little felt sleeping bags. This was a little “You’re a big sister now, yay! Now go play so Mommy can nurse” present for Aurora after Gray was born!
Popsicle Stick Puzzle- Another swapped bag, inspired by FlipChick Designs
Letter Lacing- I Can Teach My Child has a free template you can print out for this bag! I made a few of these up to use as prizes at a playgroup event, super simple and the recipients loved it!
Dyed Macaroni Necklace Lacing- This bag was actually from a station and one of Aurora’s little friends birthday party, we kept our craft and keep reusing it from time to time! Make and Takes has a great tutorial for dying the pasta!
Busy Wallet- My friend Amanda was nice enough to laminate me a set of “cards” when she made her son this bag, I found a cheap wallet and now the kids can take apart this one instead of mine! Inspired by The Acts of Grace.
I Spy Bag- Toys, hair gel, and glitter, oh my! All sealed in a Food Saver bag, you are a genius Megan. :) Tutorial here, by Intellidance.
Paint Chip Matching- This is one of our favorite bags from a swap! I love teaching my kids obscure color names, when you ask Aurora what her favorite color is, I hope she replies chartreuse. ;) Inspired by Rookie Moms
Clothesline Busy Bag- And this is one of her least favorite bags! The tiny clothespins offer a new level of difficulty! Inspired by Second Story Window.
Clothespin Letter Matching- A free template from Teach Mama makes this an easy bag to put together!
Spoon Uppercase, Lowercase Letter Matching- Thank goodness I received this from a swap because I don’t think I would have had the patience to make one of these, much less 10! Inspired by Organized Jewish Home.
Notepad Busy Bag- Does it get any simpler :)
Pipe Cleaner Stuff In- Inspired by Imperfect Homemaker, this was a really easy bag to throw together with stuff we had lying around.
Craft Stick Popsicle Matching- Inspired by Painting Sunny, this was a bag we received from a swap.
Paper Plate Letter Find- From No Time For Flashcards, this bag is great for older kids!
Dry Erase Tracing- Laminated tracing sheets or coloring pages are a great resource to have on hand, Confessions of a Homeschooler has free printables!
Chalk Blocks- This is Grayson’s favorite bag from a swap, I’m not sure if he likes coloring or erasing more? Inspired by Bablin’ Brooke.
Pasta Shape Sorting- Intrepid Murmurings inspired this swapped busy bag.
Pattern Blocks Busy Bag- I invented the busy bag version of this after seeing how much Aurora loved to play with her Melissa and Doug pattern blocks!
Egg Matching Busy Bag- I made this number/shape bag up after seeing Motherhood on a Dime’s alphabet version.
Chopstick Pom Pom Pick Up- The Educator’s Spin On It inspired this bag, who doesn’t need to learn how to use chop sticks better!