No matter what you want to call them, these are a must have for parents. You are going to have to wait with kids at some point or another, wether its at the doctors, restaurant, whilst out shopping, dentist or even family events like weddings.
My wife has been a pre school manager for over ten years and always plans things for us to take out with us for our daughter Megan. This can be as simple as some colouring sheets on a clipboard or a couple of toys. However what we have been doing in more recent years is taking a little zip lock bag with five small activities to keep her busy. So start off by reading my rules, then we’ll get on to the fun bits.
1. Aim for 6 items or less – This means it’s not as difficult to round up everything when you’re child is finished playing with it.
2. Try to go for Easily Replaceable – It’s likely that using these for travel and out and about will mean that you will probably loose pieces eventually. Therefore I like to use a lot of cheap/recycled goods so I am not so upset when things get lost.
3. Make them FUN – That’s a no-brainer, but it’s true. Try to make sure there’s something fun but at the same time will keep them relatively quiet and busy for a good few minutes
4. Try sticking to a theme – this way children can pick their favourite pack i.e I want the princess pack or I want the dinosaur pack etc.
5. Make more than one busy pack, trust me once you start seeing how useful these are you will want at least 5 different packs in stock at home.
6. Use the season – whether there is a holiday around the corner like Christmas or easter or even just something big going on in your family, take advantage of those moments. It makes it more exciting for kids and not as mundane.
Decide what you are going to use to house your busy pack, you can use an old kids lunch box, recycle a plastic food container or even use an old DVD case (more on this later). You can even use a pencil case or even just a clear zip lock food bag, anything will do.
To help you decide maybe it will good to think about what you may end up putting inside, So here is a list of things we have used in the past.
- Colouring sheets (lots of)
- Books (small ones)
- Various small toys
- Mini yo-yo