How I Keep Dylan and Alexis Occupied When I Need a Breather

Monday, November 02, 2015

Moms, let's face it. No matter how much we love our kids and how we will give up everything for them, there are times where you really need your kids to be quiet so that you can catch a breather or two!

My kids go to childcare on most weekdays, but on weekends or when the days the daycare doesn't open, I am pretty much on my own. My trick for a fuss-free 24-hours with them is to load up with A LOT of activities, preferably those that can knock them out, or those that can keep them occupied for at least 15 minutes or so?

Usually Alexis' attention span lasts for a grand total of 2 minutes so you can imagine how many different things I have to expose her to to keep her interested and occupied.

And then with the haze setting into Singapore every now and then, a lot of our activities are affected. For example, we used to have an hour of playground session followed by a short walk around the neighbourhood in the morning.. but this has been postponed for many, many weeks until recently when it turned much better.

I tell you, those two months were hell because the kids got so bored cooping up at home and we are honestly running out of their screen-time limit! After an episode of cartoon, 4 story books, bath tub playing random colouring, Dylan would be bored out of his wits and he will constantly ask me, "What do we do now, Mommy?"

A fellow mommy introduced me to 'Quiet Books', which I thought it was absolutely brilliant! Quiet Books are made from felt and with some velcro and clever cutting and sewing, it is rather interactive and keeps the child entertained and quiet, especially during times when you really, really need a break.

Here is an example of a quiet book from quietbookblog.blogspot.com
We have a quiet book at home that the kids absolutely adore too, but the downside of quiet books is that it is EXTREMELY time consuming to make and to be honest, you not only need passion, you need a certain level of skills working with cloth and felt.

I never got past having one quiet book and the kids were starting to get bored of it.

My 'life saviour' came along when Busy Tots Bags dropped me an email, asking if I would like to pick out some items for Dylan and Alexis. I got wildly excited because Busy Tots Bags are something like quiet books, except that I could mix and match what to include!


Busy Tots Bags have also very thoughtfully sorted out their items based on Practical Life, Sensorial, Language, Mathematics and Cultural, so it really depends on what kind of combination you like for your kiddos.

For Dylan and Alexis, I picked out a little bit of everything.



Dylan is working on the Ladybird, Ladybird! which is made up of a ladybird's head which is detachable with a button, the felt pieces are also made with slits for Dylan to practice on buttoning.

We started off with letting him button random felt pieces to random buttons, but after that, we did colour matching!


The Clown Around and Ladybird are pretty similar in terms of sensory play, but I feel that with lesser button holes and more buttons and velcro (the clown's nose and hands are velcro and buttons respectively), it is more suitable for Alexis.

I also forgot to mention that the both of them have zips and it makes it a really nice experimental experience for Alexis specifically!


Apart from the variety of items, I also appreciate the workmanship and quality of the items in Busy Tots Bags. All threads are sewed tightly with no loose strands dangling about, the felt was cut cleanly and rather thick! The small bits like buttons were tightly sewed on, even though I will still recommend mummies to check again before giving their little ones to play.


With a bit of creativity, the items I picked from Little Tots Bags will suit a variety of ages. For Dylan, he can play it as it is with no difficulty, but for Alexis, I try to modify it a little here and there.

For example, Alexis is playing with the Count-A-Caterpillar, which came in a pair of little caterpillars and the child will have to stick the felt numbers on it in either ascending or descending order.

This teaches the child to recognise numbers, which is especially useful for children 2 to 3 years old. Of course, Alexis is too young to be able to recognise any numbers so I used it for her sensory play and motor skills instead. I would stick all the numbers on the velcro, and then tell her to peel it off, get her to feel the both sides of the velcro, teach her that those green thing are called "caterpillars" etc.

It is very flexible and it can really suit how you want to teach your child.


Here's another one that we picked out, the Felt Shapes Threading. I also picked two other similar items: Thread The Holey Ball and Lacing Shapes. These three activities really help Dylan in terms of threading and tying knots, which is what I am trying to teach him now.

As the above activities, we started off with randomly threading different shapes, but as we progressed, we tried to thread them in a pattern - square, circle, triangles or let him name their colours as we go along.

It is pretty fun because the Holey Balls became lightbulbs after we threaded them (it came with pipe cleaners but the ends were a little sharp, so I let them play it with these laces instead) and the felt shapes became....


His necklace!

One thing to take note of, though, the felt activities were all packed and arrive in individual ziploc bags, which I really didn't expect, hahaha. I was expecting it to come in a bag... like a felt bag or something because of the name Busy Tots Bags, I suppose?


So I was rather surprised as I pulled out bags after bags of ziplocs lol. That being said, though, I didn't feel like it was a major turn off or anything like that. In fact, it inspired me to dig out my leftover felt to make the kiddos a little felt bag to store all of their quiet items!

Like to try out Busy Tots Bags yourself or get it for a special kiddo for Christmas? Get a whopping 10% off with every $40 order, and you'll only get your discount code here! KEY IN HelloChristmas! to enjoy!

*Discount code is valid from 1 November all the way to 25 December.

Of course, how can we not have a giveaway for you mummies too? Here's 2 x $20 vouchers up for grabs for you to get whatever you like from Busy Tots Bags!


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11 comments

  1. I love Ladybird, ladybird! and I think my son would enjoy it a lot too.
    Name: Priscilla Soh
    Email: psimshy(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  2. I wanna win! I'm like a super boring parent with nothing to keep Damien entertained and I can't find time to do quiet books lol. His attention span is like 20 seconds (unless he's watching the news -_-)

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  3. I like Ladybird Ladybird as my youngest boy is currently learning how to unbutton and button his clothes himself. He can unbutton quite well, but is still struggling with the buttoning. This will help him train his fine motor skills in this aspect.

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  4. Seek & Clip Alphabet Matching.

    Robert Sim
    robertsim1977@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  5. Ladybird, Ladybird!

    Selena
    selenatzy@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  6. Not easy to choose! Maybe clown around will be more suitable for my younger boy!

    Ting
    Tinkene@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  7. Trees of the numbers and apples so that my boy can enjoy learning numbers in the fun way

    Christine
    Clms_03@yahoo.com.sg

    ReplyDelete
  8. I like the count-a-caterpillar!
    So cute!

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  9. I like the Tree of the numbers and Apples!

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