Busy bags are small bags of fun that are convenient for kids on the go. It should be small enough to stash in a backpack or any type of baby bag and easy to pull out for instant entertainment and fun. For our 8-day trip with four airplane rides and one long train ride, I wanted her to feel at home as much as possible. I know how important play is for kids because it is therapeutic for them so I put together three busy bags.
Some may argue that you should let your child entertain themselves with what is available in their present environment. I agree. I did that with Rae– we tried to watch clouds on the plane, watch houses and trees whiz by as our train passed through quaint villages from Prague to Vienna. But it won’t hurt to bring one, two or three of these so that your child will have options wherever he or she goes. Play is how kids cope with what tires them and stresses them. Since we were on a Eurotrip traveling to four cities in 8 days, I anticipated how stressful and physically draining it can be for her. True enough, whenever we would drop by the hotel in the middle of the day and at the end of the day, Rae will take a nap and play as her way of destressing.
For my busy bags, I purchased everything from Daiso (Abu Dhabi Mall). I figured I might lose the contents or leave them behind (blame mom brain). So the busy bags shouldn’t be filled with pricy toys (kids don’t care anyway, a toy is a toy). Some really neat finds are available at Daiso especially small toys that are small enough to fit the small plastic mesh envelopes I purchased also at Daiso.
Here are the small mesh zipper pouches I purchased.
A shape sorter puzzle that is cleverly and conveniently collapsible. It also serves the dual purpose of becoming a puzzle box to be sorted.
A multi-colored basic building blocks set. This was a winner because Rae loved playing with these in our hotel in Vienna. Watching her excitedly pull out her busy bags made me so thankful I prepared these for her because she had a lot of options to play with aside from taking out all the magazines and brochures she could find.
A coloring book (with a sticker page!) and a box of 12 pieces crayons. You don’t really need that much crayons but I did bring a lot. She loved the coloring book, crayons and the stickers. It was like a 3-in-1 entertainment packet. These were also a hit at the Vienna airport when we got grounded for about four hours when our flight to Paris got cancelled. This bag was also a hit when she’d wake up mid flight. For the crayons, you can also purchase the ones with rectangluar bodies, the one with edges so they won’t roll off the tray mid flight.
This mini magic writing board. Such a hit especially during our 4-hour train ride. Rae loves doodling and asking me to draw everyday things. We also practice learning our alphabets on this mini board. Also from Daiso!
Aside from the busy bags I put together, the airlines gave her toys too like a plush ball, a plush rattle. Etihad takes the cake for their nifty busy bag that came in a cool camel shoulder bag filled with coloring books, a matching card game (favorite!) and cornered crayons (how clever!). I’ll be keeping these for the next time we need to be on the go because they’re very handy.
So that’s really it! Putting together your own busy bag is easy. You can also use small-medium sized zipper plastic bags if you want. I chose the Daiso ones because I’ll be able to reuse them again and again. Not going to lie, at first I thought busy bags weren’t needed but they turned out to be life savers especially when waiting time got too long for Rae at the airport or during travel time. Plus, she got to play every time our day ended aside from making use of what’s readily available.
Do you have any more busy bag ideas? Drop a comment below, I’d like to try new ideas.