I just love busy bag ideas! A great busy bag is a fun way to practice different skills, encourage independent play, and enjoy some quiet time.
This Christmas busy bag activity is simple to put together. All you need are the free printables and a set of colored popsicle sticks or craft sticks. If you can’t find them at a dollar store, check your local craft stores.
Busy Bag Challenge
Can you copy the Christmas picture using craft sticks?
Christmas Busy Bag Targeted Skills
- fine motor skills
- visual discrimination skills
- hand-eye coordination
Busy Bag Patterns Included
- santa hat
- Christmas tree
- candy cane
How to Play
Young children can use the printable to match and set the pieces on top of to create the picture. Older children can copy and create the design next to the picture. Note: Some craft sticks may need to be cut by you ahead of time so they are the perfect size.
This fine motor activity is a great way to strengthen spatial awareness skills. This fun busy bag can be stored in a large plastic baggie until you are ready to get it out again next time.
Download the Christmas Busy Bag Printable
More Fun Ideas Using Craft Sticks
Craft Sticks and Velcro Dots
Another fun activity to try this holiday season is to attach a velcro dot to each end of a craft stick. You can apply one in the middle of some of the craft sticks too. Make 20 to 30 of these. Your child will build and manipulate the craft sticks by sticking them together. This open ended activity is so much fun! Give it a Christmas theme by only offering red and green craft sticks.
Craft Stick Puzzle
Put 5 craft sticks next to each other. Draw a picture on the craft sticks using a permanent marker. I recommend that you start with something that has a simple shape such as a Christmas gift, candy cane, or Christmas tree. Write a numeral at the bottom of each stick in order from 1 to 5. Mix up the craft sticks and challenge your child to put the puzzle together. If your child isn’t ready to identify numerals, replace it with that many dots. Your child can count the dots to put them in order and this is a great way to experience number order and the concept of smallest to largest.
Craft Stick Letters
What letters can you build with craft sticks?
Color Matching Craft Sticks
Match the colored craft stick to a piece of construction paper, to gems, or pom poms. This is simple to set up and seems like an easy activity, but you will be surprised how many times your kids visit this one!
Clothes Pins and Craft Sticks
Write a letter, number, shape, or colored dot on the end of a clothes pin and on a craft stick. Challenge your child to clip the matching craft stick. From my experience, you can fit 3 shapes or letters on each craft stick (one on each end and one in the middle). So there will be 3 clothes pins to clip onto each craft stick.
Craft Stick Counting Craft
Write a number on the bottom of a craft stick. Your child will count and glue the corresponding number of items to that craft stick. Items to glue can be pom poms, gems, feathers, pieces of paper, or foam beads.
Craft Stick Jingle Bells
Lace bells onto a pipe cleaner. Wrap the pipe cleaner around the top of a craft stick. Now you can shake your new instrument as you sing!
What other busy bag activities will you try this Christmas season?
Busy Box ideas are another great way to offer activities to toddlers and preschoolers. The Activity Mom features busy boxes and great ideas that you will love!