Rainbow Busy Bags

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We love busy bags! I use them all the time at home with our youngest while I am homeschooling the older ones and pack them to take with me whenever we are going to an appointment and may be spending time in a waiting room. We also use busy bags when traveling and my oldest daughter includes them in her Babysitting Kit.

7 Rainbow Busy Bags

I also love bright colours, so these rainbow busy bags are some of my favourites! I’ve included a variety of ideas some of which take moments to prepare and some which take a bit more prep time. Two things they do have in common though is that they are colourful and that they will be well loved by your little ones!

PomPom Rainbow Busy Bag from The Pleasantest Thing

PomPom Rainbow Busy Bag

Magnetic Shape Sticks Busy Bag from here on The Chaos and The Clutter

Magnetic Shape Sticks Busy Bag

Rainbow Lacing Busy Bag from Coffee Cups and Crayons

Rainbow Lacing Busy BagRainbow Color Shape Match Up from Frogs and Snails and Puppy Dog Tail

Rainbow Color Shape Match Up

Rainbow Color Sorting Busy Bag from Coffee Cups and Crayons

Rainbow Color Sorting Busy BagFelt Color Sorting Busy Bag from Powerful Mothering

Felt Color Sorting Busy Bag

Fine Motor Straw Necklace from Mess for Less

Fine Motor Necklace Making

You can also find more of our family’s easy Rainbow Busy Bags in our 7 Busy Bags for Teaching Colors and 7 Busy Bags Made with Paint Chips or by following my Activity Bags board on Pinterest.

7 Busy Bags with Paint Chips

Get the Most Out of Life Contest

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This post is sponsored and I was compensated for my time, however the experiences and opinions are honest and all my own. For more information, please see my disclosure policy.

Are you familiar with Life brand? Life is the Shoppers Drug Mart exclusive brand. We have been shopping at Shoppers Drug Mart for years for everything from vitamins to medication to beauty products and milk. There are several stores in our community and when my kids were younger, one was walking distance to our home. It was such a relief to be able to go into one place to pick up everything I needed!

For the month of March, Shoppers Drug Mart is running a contest for a $50 gift card and all you need to do is answer one simple question over on their website. There is no purchase necessary or hoops to jump through. One answer is all it takes to enter you to win.

Enter to win now! While you’re over there, you can also poke around and read articles on ways to get the most out of Life.

Get the Most out of Life contest

Magnetic Shape Sticks Busy Bag

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This is a really easy busy bag to assemble and has great bright colours. The sticks can be lined up to create a rainbow or they can be used to make shapes.

Rainbow Magnetic Stick Busy Bag

To make this as simple as possible, you can buy coloured popsicle sticks, but you can also extend the activity by using plain popsicle sticks and having your child help you paint them. Once dry, you can then create the busy bag.

Materials needed:

  • popsicle sticks
  • adhesive magnet stip, cut into smaller pieces
  • mini cookie sheet or the lid from a tin container
  • large resealable bag
  • optional: glue to further secure the magnets

Magnetic Shape Sticks Busy BagTo create this busy bag, simply attach magnet pieces to each end of the popsicle sticks. I used the adhesive kind of magnet strip, but I found that I still needed to glue them in place as the adhesive didn’t hold well enough.

Place the now magnetic sticks in a large resealable bag with a mini baking tray or the lid from a tin container. The sticks can now be used to create shapes and patterns. They can also be used as tally marks when counting or playing other games.

Magnetic Shape SticksThey can be used to play on the fridge or any other magnetic surface such as a white board or an outside door. This is a great teaching tool for reinforcing shape and colour concept with preschoolers.

Of course, as with all kids’ activities, caution and proper supervision should be used. The magnetic pieces could be a choking hazard to young children.

If you are looking for more busy bag ideas, you may be interested in following my Activity Bags board on Pinterest.

Follow Sharla Kostelyk’s board Activity Bags on Pinterest.

3 Busy Bags with Popsicle Sticks

5 Busy Bags with Pipe Cleaners

7 Busy Bags for Learning Colours

7 Busy Bags with Paint Chips

Waiting Rooms: a Parent’s Survival Guide

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I have put in my time in waiting rooms over the years. From the usual doctor’s and dentist’s offices that most parents sit in to all the specialist appointments that having five kids with special needs will bring, I have sat in waiting rooms for more combined hours than I can even count.

Waiting Rooms: a Parent's Survival Guide

Through all those hours, I have learned a few things about ways to pass the time and make the most of the waiting.

Come prepared.

Many factors determine how long your wait will be and the majority of those are out of your control so it is best to over-prepare rather than be caught needing something you don’t have. An example would be an appointment that you expect to be over well before snack time or lunch time or nap time that runs late. Bring anything you might need: blankets, water, snacks, activities, phone chargers, pens and paper, and any medication for the day just in case.

I’ve even had what I thought would just be a simple appointment turn into us being sent to the hospital and staying there for almost a week, so it really is best to be prepared.

Ideas of what to bring:

  • resealable bags (for emergencies like a child throwing up)
  • kleenex
  • wipes
  • medication (both prescription and things like allergy medicine and pain relievers)
  • comfort items such as a special stuffy or blanket
  • phone charger
  • snacks
  • water bottles
  • soother (pacifier)
  • change of clothes for your child (or even for you)

Busy bags and activities.

I bring a variety of busy bags and activities with me. I also keep a small Etch-a-Sketch in my purse at all times.

Oftentimes, a waiting room will be equipped with toys and books, especially if it is a practice that specializes in children, but I’m a bit of a germaphobe, particularly when it comes to things in a doctor’s office. I would rather my kids read a book from home or play with toys we brought with us than use what sick kids have been coughing all over.

Surviving the Waiting Room

Ideas of what to bring:

Don’t forget the activities that don’t require any tools like playing I-Spy, Round and Round the Garden, Head and Shoulders, or even doing the Hokey-Pokey!

Sensory needs.

Most of my kids have sensory processing disorder, so I keep fidgets and sensory balls (click here to find out how to make them yourself for pennies each) in my purse. I also keep an arsenal of ideas for meeting their sensory needs in my head and even in a crowded waiting room, I pull them out.

It is so much easier to be on top of their sensory needs than to have them turn into behaviour issues. Nothing makes a waiting room more uncomfortable than when one of your kids is having a tantrum!

Notebook and pen.

This one is actually for you, not for your kids. I have found that sometimes particularly when it is at an appointment where one of my kids is receiving a new diagnosis, my brain does not process the information well. I sit there and nod but nothing is actually being remembered. I have learnt over the years that it is crucial that I bring a notebook and write things down at important appointments.

Be productive.

A waiting room doesn’t have to be a place to waste time. You can bring cookbooks and plan out your meal plans and grocery list. You can bring your laptop and get caught up on some work. You can go through emails on your phone. You can even sort pictures.

You can have your child bring their schoolwork. Waiting rooms are a great place for you to work with them on skills such as reading, spelling and multiplication tables.

Waiting areas are also a good place to work on your relationship with your child. If you are there with just one of your kids, take advantage of the time you have alone together. Get to know them a bit more and catch up on what is happening in their life and how they are feeling.

Other potentially helpful information if you spend too much time in waiting rooms:

If you are the parent of a child with special needs or medical needs, I have just heard about a new app that will soon be available. I haven’t tried it yet since it’s not available yet, so I can’t vouch for it, but it sounds great. It is for scheduling for special needs parents and will include tracking for things such as medication.  It’s called Lionheart and you can sign up to be informed when it is ready.

Our Favourite Books for Kids About Special Needs

Parenting a Sick Child: Taking Care of Your Other Kids’ Needs

6 Tips to Survive Public Bathroom with a Child with Sensory Needs

Making the Choice to Medicate Your Child