Paper or plastic? Why not both? Super simple bag activities are perfect for babies, toddlers, and young elementary children. These sensory bag ideas can be incorporated into school activities or used to keep kids entertained during family events. As your kids smoosh, mix, and color their bags, they’ll build fine motor skills, engage their senses, and push the bounds of their creativity!
1. Toddler Tissue Paper Bag
This hands-on sensory game is awesome for babies and young toddlers. Simply gather different colored tissue paper and place it in a bag. Place an empty container nearby and see if your little ones transfer the paper from the bag to the container.
Learn More: Hands on as we Grow
All About Me bags are awesome back-to-school activities for kids of all ages! Students collect objects that represent themselves and decorate their bags to express their creativity. They can then share the objects during circle time to practice their public speaking skills.
Learn More: A Love 4 Teaching
Hone those scissors skills! You can either draw some cute faces on paper bags or let your kids design their own salon clients. Then, simply supervise as they cut crazy hairstyles.
Learn More: Crafts on Sea
Build your very own paper bag play village. Before your kids decorate their bags, talk about the different kinds of buildings in your town and what kind of doors and windows they need. Great for hours of creative pretend play time!
Learn More: Art with Mrs. Nguyen
Design your very own troop of human and animal puppet pals. Grab some googly eyes, felt, and lots of markers to decorate paper lunch bags. Once you’ve finished, put on a play or act out your kids’ favorite story!
Learn More: Woo! Jr.
6. Paper Bag Kites
Celebrate Spring with a colorful activity! Give your kids a paper bag to decorate with markers, paint, and streamers. Cut a small hole in the bottom, thread a string through, and attach it to a popsicle stick. Then, go fly your kites outside!
Learn More: Somewhat Simple
Sharpen creative writing and handwriting skills with adorable paper bag books. Carefully cut and punch holes to form books. Have your kids decorate their covers and write their very own stories.
Learn More: The Kitchen Table Classroom
8. Paper Bag Lungs Project
Discover the ins and outs of breathing with this cool science project. Insert a straw into a paper bag and seal shut. Have your kids gently blow into the straws and observe what happens! They can also suck the air out of the bags to learn about exhalation.
Learn More: Kindergarten Worksheets and Games
9. Guess that Scent Experiment
Guessing scents is a super fun experiment for your elementary classroom. Fill small containers with strong scents like coffee or peppermint and place them into a bag. Roll the tops closed and let your kids take a whiff without looking inside. See how many scents they can guess!
Learn More: Raising Lifelong Learners
10. Pre-Writing with Squishy Bags
These squishy bags are great for working on writing skills without paper and pencils. Kids can practice forming letters, numbers, shapes, and drawing pictures. This fun activity develops hand and finger movements that are essential to forming writing skills.
Learn More: Learning 4 Kids
11. Apple Tree Sensory Bags
This color-sorting busy bag is super easy to create! Add some water and different colored pom poms to a plastic bag. Lay it over an apple tree and bucket template. Kids will build color recognition and fine motor skills as they sort the pom poms into their respective buckets.
Learn More: @happytotshelf
Create a color mixing investigation for students! Pour different colors of paint into the corners of a bag. Add shaving cream and seal tightly. As your kids mix the colors, ask them questions about color theory, the color wheel, and what colors make new ones.
Learn More: Best Toys 4 Toddlers
This liquid sensory bag is loads of fun for babies and toddlers. Tape it to a wall for babies to strengthen the core muscles needed for sitting. Let toddlers play with it on a table. Add red, green, or blue food coloring for a bold pop of color!
Learn More: Everyday Chaos & Calm
An entertaining and quiet activity; these sensory bags are great for your classroom or even a long car ride. Invite your children to move shaving cream or hair gel around their sensory bag to discover all the hidden objects listed on their I Spy list.
Learn More: PBS Kids for Parents
This entertaining busy bag gets your little ones working on patterns, hand-eye coordination, problem-solving, and more. Give a classroom demonstration on how to link the chains together. Then, let your kids work independently on their pattern and color-matching skills.
Learn More: Keeping My Kiddo Busy
Add adorable small puzzles to your busy bags! They’re fantastic for keeping kids occupied while developing basic problem-solving skills. For younger kids, big puzzle pieces introduce them to the world of jigsaws without any choking hazards.
Learn More: Amazon
Playdough is an essential tool for all kids’ busy bags! Grab a couple of tubs (or make your own) and some laminated playdough mats! Your little ones can work on their fine motor skills as they learn all about their numbers and ABCs wherever you are.
Learn More: Playdough to Plato
If You Give a Mouse a Cookie is a classic children’s story. This busy bag takes inspiration from the book and allows for independent play. Glue felt circles to wooden rounds. Kids can then decorate their cookies with felt frosting circles and sprinkles.
Learn More: Views from a Step Stool
19. Quiet Blocks Busy Bag
Give your toddlers a quiet alternative to traditional wooden building blocks. Cut colorful sponges into different lengths and shapes. Your little ones will have tons of fun stacking and knocking them down, lining them up, or sorting them by color!
Learn More: Childhood 101
20. Ice Cream in a Bag
Make science tasty with some homemade ice cream! Add rock salt and ice to a gallon-sized bag. In a quart-sized bag, mix your ice cream ingredients. Place the small bag in the big one and shake!
Learn More: Little Sprouts Learning