DIY busy bags to make during nap time today

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Now that my son is almost two and a half, I’m getting to implement my nerdy teacher ideas and create little educational activities for him. I’ve recently gotten very excited about busy bags. Busy bags are just that: a bag o’ stuff to keep your small child busy! They contain activities that he can do independently—great for you when you need a few moments to yourself (or to get the laundry started). These also come in handy when you need kids to play quietly for a bit (grocery store, doctor’s office, etc.)

Pinterest can be overwhelming, especially if you’re not creative. But many busy bags can be made for very little, and in a very short amount of time—like during nap time!

Here’s one I put together today!


First, I bought the fancy, glass, Voss water bottle. Maybe I’ll regret this choice and go with plastic next time, but I was going for glassy, uh, I mean classy. ?


Next, I found random trinkets I would NEVER let my 2-year-old play with. Michael’s or any craft store has a great selection of fun buttons if you don’t keep random stuff like I do!


I prepped my bottle. I drank the water and let it dry. I then scraped the lettering off with a razor blade (literally took three minutes) while I watched my husband do yard work.

With my bottle and trinkets ready, I filled the bottle 3/4 of the way with rice and then the trinkets. Hot glued the lid on, and shook it up.

Voila! If you want, you can photograph and print the items that are going to be searched for in the bottle…IF you want to!

Some other ideas I threw together during the SAME naptime were “Pompons in a Jar” and “Heads and Tails” matching game.


Again, I might regret the glass jar but I melted the Parmesan container with my hairdryer when I was eagerly drying it out after washing it. ? But, hey! Did you know Parmesan container lids fit on jars!?!

These were a Pinterest find and I printed on brown card stock and cut. Easy peasy!


Now my son has three new activities to keep him occupied when I need five minutes of quiet!!




  1. Love this, Maria! I don’t have a busy bag, but watercolors for me are a lifesaver. Because my 2 year old loves art, all I have to do is pull out the water colors and she is good to go! She also loves to color, so a simple pad of paper and a few crayons and some stickers in my purse can be a huge help when we are out and about. Another fun activity that is simple yet entertaining is to get a colander (or even a paper cup with holes punched in it) and pipe cleaners – my little ones will thread the pipe cleaners through the holes for a good 1/2 hour or so.