I was recently invited by a friend to attend my first “busy bag” party. A busy bag is an age appropriate handmade or homemade game in a bag that promotes social, cognitive, fine motor, gross motor, or language skills to young children. We were given a list of games to sign up for, but then I remember a game that I use to do with my 3-year-old class back when I taught preschool before I had my daughter and became a stay-at-home-mom :) So I chose this game instead. Well today I am going to show you how to make this fun game if you’d like to have one for your own kids! I will also show you how to play it with your children as well. It is very cheap and easy to make. Don’t be intimidated by the supply list, most of this stuff you probably already have around your house. So here is what you will need to make this game:
2.) A glue gun
3.) Glue sticks – you can find them at Dollar tree, Walmart, or any arts and crafts store.
4.) 2 Black felt sheets and 1 red felt sheet. 29 cents each over at Michaels.
5.) 1 pair of plastic wiggle eyes. You can find a bag of them at Dollar tree or Walmart.
6.) 2 different sized plates or bowls for the ladybug body pattern. I used paper plates for tracing my circles.
7.) Circle die-cuts (optional) I used my metal “Spellbinders” for creating this game.
8.) White crayon or chalk (Not pictured.)
9.) Black sharpie or marker (Not pictured.)
Alright, lets begin! Take your larger sized plate and place it on the red sheet of felt. My larger sized plate was just over 8″ 1/2 inches in diameter. Take your black sharpie or marker and trace your circle shape on the felt from the plate. Now take your smaller sized plate and place it on the black sheet of felt. My smaller sized plate was 8″ 1/8 inches because I trimmed it down slightly. Use your white crayon or chalk to trace a circle onto this sheet. Using your scissors, cut both circles out from the felt. You will need to cut a triangular pie shape on the red circle, (refer to picture.) Now take your other sheet of black felt and cut a 3″ 1/2 inch in diameter circle for the head. You can use a cup for tracing a head if you wish. I used my 3″ 1/2 inch metal die-cut, and ran it through my die-cut machine to get the perfect shape circle cause I don’t cut very straight sometimes. Place your red circle down in front of you first, then position the 3″ 1/2 inch head toward the top of the red circle, use your glue gun to glue it into place. Take your smaller sized black felt circle and place it on top of the red circle, lift the edges and glue them back down all the way around. Let it stand for about 2 minutes to dry.
Then flip the whole ladybug’s body over and you can glue the eyes to the head. Now that your lady bug is finished, you can begin creating the spots for the game. I used 10 spots for this game. Using the rest of the second sheet of black felt, you can cut them out by hand. You can use a silver dollar coin or a coke bottle cap for tracing them. If you have metal die-cuts you can use them to create your 10 black ladybug spots for the game. I used a smaller metal die-cut of about 1″ 1/4 inches. The spots are not for gluing, they are the pieces for your child to place on and off of the game. Store your game in a gallon sized zip-lock bag when not using. You can find gallon sized zip-lock bags at dollar tree now too!
This game is very simple for a young child (ages 18 months to 3 years old) to play. It is perfect for adding into your springtime and summertime themes or home-school curriculum as well. Simply show your child how to place the spots onto and off of the ladybug. A great way to promote cognitive thinking is by simple commands: “Put 2 spots on the ladybug” or “Take 1 spot off the ladybug.” If they are not quite ready for these commands just show them how to place them on and off the ladybug, this develops their fine motor skills. So there ya have it! A fun and simple homemade game for under five bucks! Hope you enjoyed this felt tutorial, I look forward to sharing more with you again!