All Busy Bags are available for order at just $3 per busy bags of your choice + shipping.
BusyBagKits are $20 each + shipping.
Please email to inquire for purchase.
You are your child's best teacher! Thanks for reading and we look forward to hearing from you!

Monday, June 1, 2015

Teaching boys how to be men

"Teaching boys how to be men" is one of my boards on Pinterest (found here if you want a lot of great reading!). It's a collection of all kinds of articles to help my husband and I teach good character as we hope to train up Godly men in our home.

Most days I feel that I need all the help I can get. Growing up with all sisters and 4 girl cousins has created a shock for this momma when I had all boys.  I mean, "What am I supposed to do when my 3 year old boy wants to play tractors....for TWO HOURS?!?" = It means I learn how to play tractors and how to make better vehicle sounds; and learn to love it!

With 4 boys, life is a whirlwind of 'resetting' -- feeding, cleaning, playing...and then redoing it over and over and over. But the hard part isn't the busyness of it all...the hard part is also fitting all the time it takes to teach!! Remembering to teach nutrition when eating, 
remembering to ask about their thoughts of the day when getting into bed, 
remembering to point out how God is working as we make choices, and so on. 

And the even harder part comes when there's a problem. ....with a friend at school, with a sibling, with a personal challenge. So I stop to listen and encourage good character traits. 
I try think of my sons as the future men they are becoming...and how my words greatly impact their internal vision of themselves.

One of my favorite reads for the day is here:
This mom put it so perfectly when she said - 
"Kind and brave has been our family’s battle cry... 
And I’ve always told my kids that your job isn’t who you are. 
Your character is who you are. 
So when folks ask my kids what they 'want to be,' they think character, not career."

Being kind. Being brave. Putting aside ourselves so as to encourage others. Loving unconditionally. May the weariness of parenting fade as your bravely and kindly lead your children today. 

Monday, May 18, 2015

Button Snake Busy Bag -- ideas for sorting sizes "big vs little"

Button Snake for big vs. little sorting

Now that our youngest is almost two, he's ready to start working on life skills that Busy Bags can teach. The first time I heard of a Button Snake, I thought it was such a simple concept. After making one, I handed it to my son to play with it but he just stared at "And what do I do now?"  Here's the original post from 2012 where I realized that learning to thread a button can be hard and require practice; jsut as learning how to use a spoon, how to put on a shirt, and how to brush your teeth!

The basic instructions are: Provide the child with the materials and let them practice threading the felt shapes on and off of the ribbon “snake”.
For really young users or beginners, it may be helpful for them to see what the finished goal looks like. Plus you may have to work with them to teach how to actually push in and pull through with each felt piece.

There are lots of different button snakes you can create. For our toddler to work on learning "big" versus "little", I came up with a series of larger shapes and smaller shapes to be threaded on two different lengths of ribbon. Plus I also like our version since there are buttons on each end. When I made the first snake with just one button and left a 'tail' (= just the end of the ribbon), my toddler kept pushing on the felt shape and then pulling right off the other end so we never got them put on altogether. With a button on each end, specifically a larger button, it helps the toddler know to put on and leave until ready to practice un-buttoning!

Button Snake Busy Bags are available for order as well all other busy bags on the Master List...just email with interest!

For different versions, ideas can be found on my Pinterest page "BusyBagCentral" or by clicking directly on the following links:
Sorting shapes by colors or by pattern! Found at -

Layering food! Found at -

Neat version without the ribbon and just using crazy straws! Found at -

Monday, May 4, 2015

Busy Bags ready to order - ready and tested for awesomeness!

Orders being filled this week are for busy bags in quantities of 3 and pick!
Quick link to all bags featured on this blog: Master list of busy bags and sensory kits

Also working on several special requests for toddler bags. Excited to post the new activities soon.
All bags are tried and tested for awesomeness by our boys. 
My boys' ages are 1, 3, 5, and 7 so there is always someone ready to try out a new activity!

Are there any specific activity bags or sensory kits you want to try at home but don't have time to make?? Comment below or email me so we can make it happen!

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Sensory Kits are rice plus toys and kids love them ...say what the what?

Thomas the Train Sensory Kit

After Pinterest first came out, I found several ideas for my Preschooler Playtime Board all related to using a bucket filled with rice plus random items.
...something called 'Sensory Kits'.....
My thoughts went something like this -- "So rice which is an every day item and easy to vacuum up without much regret plus a spoon or magnifying glass and just bonus stuff to sort though.  
What???? No way. And kids like this? Say What?? Shut the front door."

Yes, my thoughts exactly....until I made my own and gave it to my littles...who played for an hour.  
(Again, SayWhat???) Here they are at ages 2 and 4. We practiced stringing, lacing, sorting, color recognition, and more. Then we dumped it all back into the box and did it again!!

We did have a mess of rice on the floor but for a momma who hates playdough and little boys who hate writing, we needed a non-electronic activity to encourage fine motor growth and finger strength. 

I searched all over and found lots of 'themed' kits and then made up my own!! 
My boys enjoy the movie CARS as well as Thomas the Train so these kits are their favs. 
And since I have several nieces plus lots of friends with little girls, I came up with sets for Disney Princesses, Hello Kitty and Tinkerbell. 

Priced at just $20 and it comes with an instruction sheet to guide you through several activity ideas!
(plus shipping) Email to order!

Feel free to search my pages on Pinterest
For more awesome sensory kit ideas, here are 3 of my original favorite pins about sensory kits!

1. This sensory kit would work well with the ABC Busy Bag and rice from a sensory kit!

2. This kit would be fun with the tweezers Bead Threading Busy Bag!

And 3. We now use a cookie sheet under our sensory box to catch the rice...and how cool would it be to have rainbow rice!
Here is how to dye rice from

Please comment below with any pins you love and want to share with us!!!

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Order of Busy Bags = Lots of Preschooler Fun!

Shipped out an order of all ready-made busy bags which means a little preschooler is in store for hours of fun!!
As I was collecting the items for this order, my 3 year old kept asking, "Ooh, what's that?" and "Oooh, cool." and "Mommy, that looks fun!" 

Block Buildings -- houses from the imagination of a 5 year old

My 5 year old impresses me with his lego creations. On a regular basis he will pull out the basket of duplo blocks or regular legos and start creating. 
My ideas include, a house, and a road, and um...another house. Then I sit back and watch my boys build much "grander" creations than I could have thought of.  On this particular day, my kiddos decided they needed a home for their Zhu Zhu pets. We spent time creating their home and then the boys spent a long time pretend playing and sharing stories about their pets. 

When we first bought legos, I searched all over Pinterest and found a few good ideas (preschooler playtime pin board here)...but then I spent more time looking than we did playing. Honestly, the boys have more fun when we just sit together and they create!!

One thing about parenting that I've been surprised by is that I've forgotten how to play - and have been glad that my kids teach me just as much as I teach them!

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Excited to send out orders of busy bags and sensory kits!

Oh I wish I could see the faces of the momma and kiddos who will be opening their order this week! I felt excited seeing all the activities when packaging them up! 

Was happy to give a discount for ordering several busy bags AND a sensory kit
...and even more excited to treat them with a bonus *mystery* bag!

Here's to a *cheers* wish and prayers over all the parents playing with kids this week ~ may your time be enjoyable, quality time filled with lots of giggles, and with kids who listen because they feel loved with your attention during playtime. :)

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Quick links to busy bag round up list

Reminder ~ The fastest way to find quick links in this blog is by clicking the link on the top right titled: 
Master List of Busy Bags and Sensory Kits

And with all the new viewers lately, I'll go ahead and repost highlights here with links. Thanks for visiting and reading and playing with your kids!!


NEW! Sensory Kits
Basic Toddler Busy Bags:
(2 year olds to 4 year olds – as well as some mature 18 month olds)
Alphabet Match-up
Match Me Cards
Beginner Busy Bags:
(3 year olds to 5 year olds – and for mature 2.5 year olds)
Rainbow Bright
Classy Colors
Pop the Popsicle
The 3 P’s
Mr. Push It
Bead Threading

Advanced Busy Bags:
(4 year olds up to 6 year olds)
Pop the Popsicle (using the harder words on the sticks)
Toothpick Trace
…more to come!

Please be aware that these contain small parts that can be a risk for unsupervised small children. Take time to educate your child on appropriate use to reduce the risk of choking, suffocation or other injury.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Buttons for toddlers means: sorting, sizes, drawing and picking up!

While momma made art with buttons to celebrate the beginning of our local ball season.... two littles spent their time sorting buttons.

And while we were being crafty, I spent time with them asking questions about size and color and textures. 
My 3year old asked if he could draw so we practiced making lines then putting buttons on his drawing. Teaching him to write has been harder for me since he's a lefty--so if he asks to write, I give him whatever is available and tell him to go for it!

Then my 20-month-old kept me on my toes and decided to dump buttons from the glass jars then tried to roll the jars along the floor.  These jars held jam my grandparents used to make and are probably 30+yrs old so we quickly changed pace by sorting buttons into egg cartons.  
Never a quiet moment in this house of 4 boys!

As always, keep a close eye when using buttons around little ones. I'm obviously on the floor playing right along with them. :) 
Any other ideas of what you have done with buttons for your kiddos? Please comment to share!

Friday, April 3, 2015

The Bead Threading Busy Bag

As my kids continue to play with their sensory kits and busy bag boxes, I get to trust them more n' more with fun activities like this ones that include beads and several tools to practice threading!

My 5 year old enjoys threading his own "designs" while my 3 year old loves to pattern match -- and we all enjoy taking a turn using the tongs!! Infact, these tongs get used in several other busy bags since they are so fun to use to pinch. And since it's their job to clean up what they get out, the tongs often get returned to their sensory kit box and buried in the rice for use next time.

(pattern matching)

(pinching is a hard skill for little kids to learn!)

Examples of other skills and ways to play with this Busy Bag -- color sorting and matching, finger dexterity through pinching and pushing, using beads to form letters or numbers.
Any other ways you can think your little one would enjoy this set?

Please be aware that these contain small parts that can be a risk for unsupervised small children.  Take time to educate your child on appropriate use to reduce the risk of choking, suffocation or other injury.

Sensory Kits - $20 each

Busy Bag Sensory Kits are available for purchase and are priced at $20 per kit + shipping.
Orders can be paid via check or handled faster with Paypal (100% online-security guarantee).
Email when ready to order!

All kits include NINE (!) activities with a focus on: Sorting, Matching, Lacing (a hard skill to learn for toddlers), Counting & Math, Color & Number recognition, Sensory development with finger strength growth, Writing, along with visual learning & exploration through free play.

Ready to go Character Kits –
Last update 4.3.15
CARS with Lightening McQueen

Hello Kitty

Princess – Disney Characters

Thomas the Train


All include instructions with examples for parent-led interactions.
Email to order or ask questions or even comment below!!

What kind of kit would your little one(s) be most interested in?

Coming soon....Themed Kits – Alphabet, Birthday Celebrations, Camo/Military, Dinosaurs, Farm, Garden ‘n’ Flowers n’ Butterflies, Numbers, Pirate, Pond ‘n’ Frogs ‘n’ Bugs, Sports, Trains, Vehicle, Zoo Animals

May be adding if requested and in demand....Barbie, Diego, Dora, Sesame Street, Spiderman, Mickey Mouse, Toy Story, Transformers

Please be aware that these contain small parts that can be a risk for unsupervised small children.  Take time to educate your child on appropriate use to reduce the risk of choking, suffocation or other injury.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Crafting with canvas

Took some time to craft today while little ones napped. Loved the wall art I created with items I had around the house...several layers of papers on a canvas plus red metal grommets, and two neat wooden 3D vehicles. A fun way to "recycle and reuse" to create canvases to sell!

((set of two 9x12 canvases with vehicle art -- available for purchase 
Cost $20 for the set + shipping))

Thinking of also adding some cute labels made of chalkboard material so that the customer can add the name of the little boy who's room these will be hanging in one day....
Love the idea of chalkboard paint but don't like the cost or time to wait on drying of paint so I grabbed a couple of these labels on sale at the craft store this week. If ordering individuals don't want them, then I'll probably use on some of my grandma's old Ball jars (per Pinterest idea I saw here).

Side note: Anyone who has tips on taking good photos of wall art, please comment below or email me! Our house is a ranch so it's long and narrow plus our trees outside make for a very low-lit rooms. This is on a table by a North-facing window but the reds/yellows in the wood seem to stand out too much. ...or if you know of better free photo editing software, please share! I'm almost tempted to buy a photography floor dropmat so photos show better (than on my carpet). Life is such a series of continuous learning, isn't it??
As always, thanks for reading!