Tuesday Tips: Busy Books

We are going to be taking a few road trips this summer, so when my friends posted THIS link, I was intrigued.  A portable activity kit could definitely entertain our kiddos on the road.

I also thought that they would have the added benefit of keeping the little Sweet Peas entertained when I was reading out loud to the older kiddos during our morning school session.  So far they have been a big hit.

I am sharing our modifications and some new ideas that occurred to me based on the skills we want to improve. I decided to start from scratch with most of the activity cards instead of printing off the provided links for a couple of reasons. I want to provide a print-rich environment, so I added words to many of the activities.  In addition, I also want everything the Sweet Peas see to be bi-lingual so that they are exposed to both of the languages we speak in the house in print as well as sound.  (Even when some of the activities had words, they were English- only. )

The books were such a big hit with Otter and Charger! Puma and Night Owl were also flipping through the books, checking out the different activities.  I felt badly that I hadn’t created something for them, so when the opportunity presented itself, I bought more supplies to create books with age-appropriate activities for them.  They helped me choose what they wanted in their books.

As far as the little Sweet Peas go, I am thrilled that they are enjoying their books and looking for new pockets to unzip.  I loved all the printables (free!) on the Busy Little Bugs site. I am thinking that I will have to go back there to the to find new games that I can swap out periodically so that the littles do not get bored doing the same activities.  Ideally, I would like to have twenty different “busy bags” with activities to rotate through, maybe putting in five zip pockets at a time into the Busy Books, and letting them choose their favorites when it’s time to hit the road.

We are three days into having these books around, and every day I still hear (several times a day!), “Where is my Busy Book?” YEAH!


  1. Links to all the websites I used to make the Busy Books are at the bottom of the post.
  2. If you would like my English/Spanish activity cards, then please send an email to sweetpeafamilies@gmail.com.  I will send you the file I used so you can print them out for your Sweet Peas.
  3. Felt sticks to itself!! You probably knew this – I am thrilled since it is new to my memory bank! Saved all the leftovers – looking forward to cutting it up and using it for future activities.
  4. Cardstock and Con-Tact® Laminate paper are the best! I wish I had picked up the cardstock the first time around at the store.  Since I didn’t and I am not patient when my mind is set on finishing something, most of the activity cards are printed on regular copy paper.   Still okay – the laminate paper make them durable enough to get good use out of them.  In the future and for any recipients of Busy Book gifts, we will definitely use cardstock.

Charger’s Book (5 years old)BLOG Busy Book Overview

Felt Name Board with letters color-coded for vowels and consonantsBLOG Busy Book Name

Shape-MatchBLOG Busy Book Shapes

Buttons + Boards for sortingBLOG Busy Book Sorting

Counting Cards 1-10 odd/even color-codedBLOG Busy Book Numbers

Memory Game / Puzzle Cards

BLOG Busy Book Memory

Charger’s pieces double as a puzzle and a memory game; I chose a fun chevron print for the top-side of Otter’s game

Color Card MatchBLOG Busy Book Rainbow

“Copycat” bags: Felt “Snake”, Velcro Craft Sticks, Before & After number game from Busy Little BugsBLOG Busy Book Copycat

Mona MELisa Sticker Playset – we store it in a page protector sleeve so that the sleeve also serves as sticker storage.


Image from Mona MELisa Webpage


Otter’s Book (2.5 years old)

  • Felt Name Board with letters and shapes
  • Shape-Match Buttons + Board for sorting BLOG Busy Book Toddler Sort
  • Counting Cards 1-10 odd/even color-coded – Otter’s set has pom-poms to put on the circles – she is still having a hard time with the mini-clothespins.  She reminded me that she can use the big ones 😉 I tried to explain to her that they don’t fit in the bags and we’ll have to save those for the schoolroom games.
  • Felt “Snake”
  • Velcro Craft Sticks
  • Memory Game
  • Color Card Match
  • Mona MELisa Sticker Playset – we store it in a page protector sleeve so that the sleeve also serves as sticker storage.

    Blog Busy Books TRVLPPPONY-1

    Image from Mona MELisa Webpage

Puma’s book (nine years old): BLOG Busy Book Puma

  • Felt shapes for creative design
  • Beads + Cord for jewelry making
  • Horse coloring pages
  • Memory Game
  • Mona MELisa Sticker Playset – we store it in a page protector sleeve so that the sleeve also serves as sticker storage.

Image from Mona MELisa Webpage 


Night Owl’s book (six years old):BLOG Busy Books Owl

  • Sorting Cards + Buttons
  • Velcro Craft Sticks
  • Knights (Printed on cardstock /laminated.  They stand-up for play and fold flat for storage)
  • Memory Game (Dragon Images + a Bowman Family Crest for top-side)
  • Dragon Coloring Pages


Link List

Inspiration Post From Mama.Papa.Bubba blog

Busy Little Bugs – Printable activities

Travel Play Sets – Mona MELisa Designs

Chevron Paper

Pirate ship background turned puzzle

Flowers for Puma’s Memory Game

Google Searches
Knight Images
Horse coloring pages
Dragon coloring pages



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