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Free Clothesline Busy Bag instructions and pattern download

I was so excited to participate in the Busy Bag Swap that Brenda from Unsolicited Advice put together.

If you’re unfamiliar with Busy Bags, basically, they are ziptop bags with a simple project or game to keep young children busy. It’s so helpful to have things like this put together to pull out when I need to be working one-on-one homeschooling Kathrynne or when the children come to me asking what they can do. Instead of having to wrack my brain, I can just pull out a pre-packaged project and get them started on it.

We decided to put together Clothesline Busy Bags for the swap. Joy from created patterns for me, as well as instructions to go in the bag. We gathered the supplies needed from Dollar Tree and Hobby Lobby and then we set out to make the bags.

The girls and I spent about five hours cutting out felt pieces and assembling 25 Clothesline Busy Bags. It was a lot of work, but it was fun to do together — even if we completely trashed an entire room of the house with felt pieces, paper and other miscellaneous things in the process (hey, at least it all stayed contained in one room and not all over the house!).

And then the girls had fun trying out the Busy Bag, too! Kathrynne said it was a little bit too easy for her (sniff! My baby girl is growing up!), but Kaitlynn was just as delighted as ever with it.

Free Downloadable Clothesline Busy Bag Kit

If you’d like to put together a Clothesline Busy Bag for your children, you can download the complete kit here. It includes free patterns, instructions on putting together the bag, instructions to stick inside the bag and some ideas on variations of ways to use this bag. Enjoy!

Note: Please use care when having a string and clothespins around young children. Make sure the string is securely tied and be in the same area as your children when they are doing this project. It’s always better to be safe.

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  • Tiah says:

    Crystal, Thank you for posting this. As a mom who isn’t creative in educational fun children’s things I was so excited when you posted the busy bags. I was too late to enroll but have been searching the blog world for ideas. Thank you again!

  • Kimberlee says:

    So cute! My children always enjoyed sorting and threading large colorful wooden and plastic beads on yarn. I think you can still buy the plastic beads in the shape of animals too.

  • Dana says:

    Thanks so much for sharing this! If you are able to link up or share basic info on the bags you receive, I would be very grateful. With to little ones under four and another baby expected in early Dec, I could use some ideas!

  • Great idea! I bet it was fun putting it together with the girls. Glad you were able to contain it to one room! 🙂

  • Regina says:

    Thanks so much! The girls are super excited for a fun project today!

  • Jan says:

    My students and I volunteer at the Boys and Girls Club and put these together for summer projects for the kids that go there

  • This is a great idea for grandchildren as well!! I’m not a grandmother but I can see where this would come in handy and it is not necessarily a noisy toy either!! Thanks so much for sharing!

  • Chels B. says:

    I love this idea!! I’d love to get in on the next one!

  • amber says:

    Thank you great post I’d have never thought of the clothes line and had never heard of busy bags. This will definitely be something I trt to put together for summer.

  • What a cute idea! And especially in time for the summer months when kids are out of school. My kids get bored when I don’t let them sit all day in front of the TV. Sad, huh?!

  • Mai says:

    Yay! I’ve been looking forward to you posting this since you put the picture up a few days ago.

    Is there any chance you could tell us what some of the other activities are that you got in your swap? I’d love to make some busy bags!

  • Stephanie says:

    This made me think of so many other things you could do with this! It would be a great idea for the older ones to have ABC flashcards to hang up in order, or you could teach them vowels, consonants etc that way. You you could make word cards for Kathrynne and she could spell the words on the clothesline with flashcards. Or you could cut up a Scripture memory verse and have them hang it in order.

  • You might also check with your local library if they carry ellison dies. I know our local libraries have cutouts for t-shirts and things that are about the size of these patterns. This would save alot of time if you are making a bigger batch of these.

  • Rachel says:

    If anyone has link to other busy bags please post. I would love to make some.

  • Debi says:

    Hey Crystal, I remember reading that you did a swap with other moms so each could have several busy bags in the end. I think that is fabuous and I would like to start one as well. Could you tell me what other busy bags you received or will receive? Thanks….your blog rocks!! It’s one of the highlights of my day! Blessings!

  • Yes, I would be interested in busy bag ideas as well. Maybe I could incorporate some of my yard sale finds!

  • Jennifer says:

    If it’s too easy for your bigger girl turn it into a timed game. Give her a phone, a baby doll and her clothesline pins and items. You can give her so many seconds to see how much she can get on the line while juggling her baby and her phone. We always play that game at baby showers and it’s a hoot!

  • swapna says:

    This is so cute! and easy to prep 🙂

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