Our Five Ring Circus: How To Create Busy Bags using items from The Target Dollar Spot

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

How To Create Busy Bags using items from The Target Dollar Spot

Creating a collection of Busy Bags was at the top of my To Do List this summer!

My goal was to complete them before our vacation at the end of August, and time was rapidly running out.  I finally began to peruse my Pinterest board, and although the ideas were incredible, I didn't have the time to make things from scratch.

I had to come up with another idea!

It's no secret that I love the Target Dollar Spot! I mean, who doesn't get sucked into the bins of $1 and $3 must have items?!?  A few weeks ago, I was searching through the bins for items to keep our kids busy on our road trip, when it hit me:  Why not use those items in Busy Bags? It made complete sense!


At the beginning of the year, I made activity packs for Lily to play with while Liam was having therapy sessions in our home.  It was a great way to organize large groups of items.  I keep them in a storage ottoman and we still use them daily!

Making more activity packs for the girls. I'm slightly obsessed with this organizational idea. The mesh laundry bags come in a pack of 3 for $1. They are perfect for holding wooden puzzles, so you don't lose the pieces, and a great way to contain all thos

Although we love the mesh activity packs, I wanted something that was easily portable. I wanted a wide variety of items that could be played with in our home, then stashed in our car for play on the go. 

Enter the Busy Bag Binder!


A trip to Target was in order! I picked up the largest binder I could find, bought a bunch of clear pencil pouches (with binder holes) that were on sale for well under a dollar each, gathered some Dollar Spot items, and went to work!


Here's what I came up with:

Counting Blocks ($1)-Great for teaching Lily basic addition and subtraction, but they can also be used as building blocks!


Alphabet Learning Puzzle ($1)-A great matching puzzle perfect for practicing letter recognition!


Building Blocks ($1)-Girl colors for Lily! She loves building towers with them!


Fairy Tale Friends ($1)-Mini figures for pretend play for my girls.


Frozen Matching Game ($1) and Animals Flash Cards ($1)-A game for the girls and flashcards for Liam.  


Wild Animals ($1)-Pretend Play figures for Liam.


Building Blocks ($1)-Different shapes and colors, but just as much fun!


Curious George Play Pack ($1) and My Little Pony Play Pack ($1)-Crayons, Stickers, and a coloring book in each pack.


Chipboard Lacing Shapes ($1)-Lacing shapes help with fine motor skills!


Glitter n Glitz Puzzle ($1)-A more complicated puzzle for Lily. I cut out a small picture from the bag the puzzle came in to use as a guide and placed it in the bag with the puzzle pieces.


Sticker Album and Stickers ($1)-This one is mainly for Lily. She loves stickers, and I love that she can fill up a keepsake album!


Tangram Puzzle ($3)-I spent the most money on this item, because it was a higher quality wooden puzzle. Lily has to think harder to put it together and Liam can play with it, too!


Once the Busy Bags were assembled, it was time to put our Busy Binder together!

I created a simple cover and asked Lexie to draw some shapes.  I slipped the cover into the front binder pocket, then chose 8 Busy Bags to keep in the binder.  


I stored the 4 remaining Busy Bags in a mini crate, and plan on swapping the bags every week. 


I was thrilled with the way my Busy Bags Binder turned out!


So was Lily!


The Busy Bags can be easily removed for play, then returned to the binder afterward.  We have a strict "You must clean up one Busy Bag before you get another" rule in our house!

Stay tuned for another round of Busy Bags coming your way soon! The next batch involves paper clips, flash cards, pipecleaners, golf balls, beads, rope, pool noodles, clay, and more!


Do you have Busy Bags for your kids?  



  1. what a great idea!!! I may have to steal this just for stuff to do around the house when Bre gets bored!

  2. This is a great idea! I agree, I have found some fantastic busy activities in the Dollar Spot at Target. :)

  3. This is a fantastic idea!! I think I'll be making a Target run soon! Any excuse to go to Target, right? ;o)

    1. Awww. Thanks for sharing. That's awesome. I put it... Very helpful and detailed...😍

    2. Awww. Thanks for sharing. That's awesome. I put it... Very helpful and detailed...😍

  4. LOOOOVE this. We have a cross-country road trip coming up, and this would be great for my daughter since we're not taking many toys with us. looks like i need to take a trip to target soon!

    1. That's exactly why I made it!!! Best of luck on your road trip!

  5. Oh my word! This is such a great idea!!!! I'll have to remember it for when Caleb's older! :-)

  6. Great idea!! I would love to do this for my daughter when she's older - I also love the "clean up one before opening another" rule :)

  7. This is such a great idea for keeping kids away from the telly all year round!
    Thank you Lexie Loo, Lily, Liam & Dylan too

  8. I think I'll put magnets on the back of my wooden shapes to make it more car trip friendly. We love making up more shape puzzles! It inspires quilt blocks for me and the littles love the bright shapes.


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