There are times when you need to provide activities for little hands to keep busy. Long car journeys, bus journeys, waiting in restaurants and coffee shops, listening to speeches at weddings, are all times that you wonder how your young child will behave and how to keep them entertained. In the modern age there are many options of phones and tablets with hundreds of games you can access, but they can be noisy, children can get frustrated or need support playing them and they aren’t always appropriate for the surroundings. Sometimes you just want to keep them amused without the use of a screen and you are in a space they cannot run around. You can find ideas on Pinterest for creating ‘busy bags’ which are little activities you can create to keep them busy; matching games, sorting games, patterns, counting games – the list goes on. They are fantastic, and you can even make them yourself. Trouble is, if you’re anything like me, you can be full of good intentions, but life gets in the way! If only there was someone else who could create these bags and keep the small people happy! In steps Jhodi with her new company ‘Little Hands Activities’.
Jhodi left work to have her son 2 years ago. After ending up in coffee shops, on trains and even at weddings, she was looking for ways of keeping him busy, but did not want it to revolve around the iPad. After trying to take out small puzzles, she decided to find out if there were other activities she could use. She then started creating reusable activities to keep her son busy. Jhodi has set up an online shop (www.littlehandsactivities) where her busy bags can be purchased to keep young children happy for the reasonable price of £3.75 or £2.50 for a smaller bags, plus postage and packaging.
My beautiful nieces often have long car journey’s to go on, and helped me test out some of these bags from ‘Little Hands Activities’. We tried the shape matching lollypop sticks, creating shapes and the foam garland busy bags. The activities are safely kept in ziplock bags which can easily fit into changing bag, handbags or even larger coat pockets. The girls got stuck in straight away choosing the bags they wanted to try. They read the instructions that were included (for smaller children they are there for the adults to read and explain) there are pictures on the geometric shapes one which are easy to understand and for small children to follow.
My gorgeous niece A is 7 years old, she chose the garland straight away. She discussed how it worked, when she had made one before, the colours she liked. The discussion which came from her creating was lovely. She wanted to share what she was doing with me and her sister, it was lovely to be involved with what she was doing. My wonderful niece E is 5 years old, she chose the geometric shapes immediately. She discussed all the shapes she knew from school, and created the shapes on the cards. What was lovely was seeing how they moved the activity on too – niece A created more complicated shapes and we even got on to discussing regular and irregular shapes! All this from one tiny bag! They played with all three bags, taking it in turns, playing beautifully together! They were great, and I think certainly worth the price. The girls found it hard to choose a favourite, but niece A liked the garland bag best and niece E liked the shape matching activity best. They asked if they could take them on their next long car journey, which I think is a great result!
Jhodi is currently prototyping another range of activities with her son; colour recognition with pegs, sorting game and felt picture game, which all should be available in her shop in the autumn if not before. I look forward to seeing these ones and any other busy bags Jhodi makes in future!
Disclosure: I was sent this product free of charge but all thoughts and opinions are my own.