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Build a boredom-busting busy bag
It’s a recipe for disaster: Take a long church service (or important meeting, or doctor’s appointment), add one squirmy toddler and hope (or pray, as the case may be) for a tantrum-free hour.
But fear not, parents, because there is a simple way to ward off a boredom-induced meltdown – build a busy bag! This tote filled with quiet toys, books and crafts is an easy way to keep your little one entertained and (relatively) silent. Here’s how to make your own:
Start with the bag
Help your child choose a bag or tote to fill and then decorate it together! The Statement Canvas Shopper – or for littler hands, a Statement Canvas Mini Shopper – can be personalized with their name, a fun Icon-It, graphic or even their own photo or artwork! You can upload your littlest ones’ fingerpaint masterpieces online and create a bag they’ll carry long after the “originals” have been tossed.
Bring along something soft
Smaller children may enjoy having a comfort item or “lovie” they can snuggle while the grown-ups are busy. For older children, choose soft dolls or finger puppets for imaginative play instead of noisy plastic action figures.
Add a little fun
A simple activity keeps little fingers engaged and focused. Old-fashioned toys like lacing cards, paper dolls or a matching card game don’t take up much space and can be enjoyed over and over.
Encourage reading and writing
Babies and toddlers who can’t yet read love books with different textures and flaps that can be opened and closed. Older children may enjoy age-appropriate books or a notebook and pencil to practice handwriting. Include some coloring books and crayons (as long as you know they’ll be used only on paper).
Add some of your child’s favorite toys and activities to customize your busy bag with whatever will keep them content. Keep your bag ready in the car or diaper bag so it’s always with you on the go, and switch out toys and games frequently to hold your child’s interest. And most importantly, have fun, because they’re only little for so long!