You may have heard me talk before about the busy bags we take to church. Each and every Saturday night, I fill our busy bag with all kinds of goodies to keep the kids occupied during church. I have a box full of crayons, markers, coloring books, sticker books, activity books, different small crafts and activities that I store in our basement and can choose fun things from.
Since I get asked all the time what’s inside those church busy bags (specifically), I did a quick video on Facebook showing a sneak peek. But I also wanted to share over here since some of you prefer to read instead of watch a video. So…what’s in the busy bags?
My kids absolutely LOVE Melissa & Doug’s Water Wow books!
I have about 8 different Water Wow books so I bring a different one every week. If you haven’t used these before, these are awesome. You fill the little brush compartment with water and then when you paint on the pages, colors and patterns magically appear! Then the water dries and the fun starts all over again. Hence the name…Water Wow!
Next up is one of my personal favorites… Color Wonder coloring books and plain paper.
This is another mess-free art activity, perfect for a church pew! Except this time, instead of water, you magically create beautiful pictures with special color wonder markers. The kids love these – and I love that there’s no bright colored marker stains on Ruth Ann’s dress (or the pew)!
We also love Usborne Sticker books.
The stickers are in the back and then the book tells you which page each sticker goes on. It’s easy to use, but a little time-consuming for kids – which makes it perfect for church. Annie also has a mosaic sticker book where you make a mosaic picture using stickers. It’s really fun and keeps her quiet the entire service.
Always pack a snack of some kind for church!
Having a snack on hand for church is key to a successful time in the pew. Occasionally, one of the children will actually be seconds away from a mental or emotional breakdown. You parents know exactly what I’m talking about. Snacks are our saving grace, y’all. I see the irony in that statement considering we are in church. LOL. But in all seriousness, I have saved a child from melting down just by bringing out a snack!
I also bring decks of cards, like Crazy Eights.
They don’t actually play card games. They just play with the cards – matching, stacking, etc. I love that it’s contained inside of a box and can be easily packed away and the kids love using their imagination come up with new ideas for cards.
Look and Find books are also something the kids enjoy.
They have so many varieties out nowadays – you can buy them used online or from consignment stores. The options will blow your mind! And since my kids don’t read or look at these type of books on a regular basis (during the week), it’s a special treat and keeps them quiet for quite a while.
We always have coloring books!
If they have a coloring book they can color or if their hands are busy – they can pay attention better. I always pack a few kinds of crayons. I especially love twistable crayons! And crayons are one thing that I don’t actually change out. I just keep a bunch of boxes of crayons in the front pocket of the bag all the time.
I find that sometimes it’s even easier for me to listen when I have something to keep my hands busy.
I’m in my mid-30s and I also need help concentrating. Shocker, right? I actually pack things for me as well! I bring my own colored pencils and my Word in Color coloring book. And I usually throw in some printed coloring pages too. I especially love the ones I find by my friend Lisa Walters over at Creativlei.com I don’t do it often, but if the kids are having a good day and I need to focus, I’ll color or do a word find. I promise I’m still listening.
Always change things up so that the kids never get bored.
Putting together a busy bag is super easy! You can grab items for them at Walmart, Dollar Tree, Target’s dollar bin, Amazon – it only takes a few dollars to create your own stash of items to fill your busy bag each week. Kiddos (and sometimes mom!) can benefit from having something new and fresh to keep them quiet during church.
What about you? Are there certain items, toys, books, etc. that you find help your kids stay quiet during the church service?