September 1, 2011

Busy Bag Swap: Day 2 (Pool Noodle Lacing)

My sister Avery is up today...she's the 2nd out of the 5 us kids.  (I'm number 3.)  She has 3 girls herself, and is expecting  baby #4 (gender unknown!) in February (but probably January because somehow she has her babies 3 weeks early!)  It makes me nervous even just typing that last sentence because we've been pregnant all three times together...even if it's just for her last trimester.  Why does that make me nervous? Because Charlie and I have never planned any of our pregnancies and I'm just not sure that I'm ready to follow her lead again quite so soon.  I think we'll be sitting out this round!  Can't wait to welcome a new niece or nephew (that's what I'm voting) this winter!  This will make cousin #10.  Girls-5, Boys-4.  It's time to even things up!

Our family:  Brent & Avery, Brynn (5), Camdyn (3), Rylan (1)

Blog address:

How do you spend your free time? What free time? :) I enjoy running, crossfit, reading, shopping, & hanging out with friends. 

When you were a child, what was one of your favorite ways to spend the day? Playing outside & playing with my sisters.

Fondest memory with your mom as a child? Sleeping with her!

What does special time with your children look like? Reading, doing puzzles, taking walks, & going fun places. 

Favorite outdoor activity with your children? Taking walks.

A favorite tradition that you want to pass down to your children? Special holiday celebrations. 


Pool Noodle Lacing provides several different ways to keep your little ones busy while allowing them to practice fine motor skills, color and number recognition, and pattern sequencing.

Want to see how it works? 

Each bag contains nine noodle "beads" numbered 1-9. I used 4 different colors of pool noodles so that they can also work on color recognition.

The most basic way this can be used, is to have your little ones lace the noodle beads on the string to practice lacing and help develop those fine motor skills.

If your child is ready, encourage them to find #1 and lace it on the rope. Then, #2 and so on.  You can also call out numbers or colors for them to find and lace on the rope.

The bag also contains 10 cards with number sequencing on one side and color pattern sequencing on the other, that we created.  

Children can pick a card and decide which side they'd like to work on. Then, string the beads along the rope to recreate the pattern.

With 20 different sequences, this can keep them busy for a VERY long time.

The total for making 26 bags was around $27.  

Ready to make your own?  For 26 busy bags, I used:
  • 5 noodles (2 red, 1 blue, 1 green, 1 yellow from Dollar Tree)
  • rope ($2.88 for 72 feet of rope at Home Depot )
  • sharpie
  • 26 bouncy balls ($6 for 3 packages from Walmart's party favors section..Dollar Tree may have these; it was closed when I went to buy these.)
  • 26 printed pages of sequencing cards (front and back) on cardstock (printing the colored sequencing patterns was the most expensive part of this project...around $12)
  • 13 pages of instructions (printed 2/page)
I, somewhat, followed this tutorial.  (She has great pictures, for all of you visual learners!)

Here's how I did it:
1. Cut the noodles into one inch pieces with a sharp knife. (Nine pieces per busy bag.)
2. Number them 1-9 with a sharpie on one side.  You can label both sides, if you'd like, but I think it's good practice for them to manipulate it as they spin it around in search of each number.
3. Cut 24 inch pieces of rope.
4. In addition to I Can Teach My Child's tutorial, we attached a bouncy ball to the end of the rope by drilling a hole through the ball and tying knots on both sides of the ball. This prevents the noodle beads from slipping off the rope.  (Please be careful to supervise your little ones, as this could be a choking hazard!)
5. Print and cut the sequencing cards and instructions.

**Terms of Use:
We'd love for you to feel free to use the files that the ladies in our Busy Bag Swap have worked hard to create, but please keep in mind that the printable images and files on this site are some of our ladies own exclusive designs. They have been generous enough to freely share them.

The terms of use for using the free printable crafts and activities are as follows:  You may share these printables with students, friends, neighbors and family or even with your child's class full of children. As long as you share for personal use only. Please do not post printables on a web site - instead provide a link back to the original posting on this site. Linking to the original page is both welcome and appreciated.

Now go get busy on dinner prep while your child gets busy lacing and lacing and lacing...

and then...admiring themselves wearing their new little creation.

Go check out what Busy Bag is up today on Grow!


Megan said...

This one saved our life in church the other night when Sawyer didn't want to go to the nursery. :) Love it!

Mandy said...

Is there a way to change the colors on the sequencing cards? I was not able to find the same color pool noodles and want the cards to correspond with the colors I was able to find.

Unknown said...

This looks like a lot of fun! I need to make a set for my son.

Kaitlin L. said...

Thank you for this tutorial and related files! It made my busy bag portion of our swap very easy :) I did try to drill a hole through a dollar store bouncy ball, and the bit shredded the ball to pieces. I did, however, discover that wiffle golf balls were a super easy replacement (and cheap)!

Andrea said...

I made these for my exchange! FUN! I love that toddlers can do this activity. THANK YOU for your work!! I (my husband) drilled holes in golf balls and that worked great.

Unknown said...

Love this and plan on making it for a busy bag swap I've coordinated. And I especially love the sequencing cards as it takes the skills one step further. I am wondering though, is there a way to change the colors on the cards as the noodles I've found for $1 aren't primary colors. Thanks!

Kirby said...

No, Stephanie, I'm sorry but they can't be changed bc the only copy I have is a pdf. Sorry. :-/