easy DIY Lacing Cards

some mom friends and i got together to share some toddler-friendly activity ideas and do a Busy Bag swap. the idea behind Busy Bags is to have small bags of simple, learning activities for kids to keep busy {hence the name}, have fun, and hopefully learn a thing or two. 

for my bag, i decided to make some simple lacing cards for kids to practice their fine motor skills while learning about the shapes. it was a super easy and super cheap DIY. plus Elijah seems to enjoy it so... winning! 

i posted a picture of them on Instagram and after a couple of questions i thought i'd share with you the easy tutorial as well as some tips that i wish i knew ahead of time. 

DIY Toddler Lacing Cards 

items needed: 

-foam sheets 
i used a small pack from the Dollar Tree since i was making 10 bags and needed more bang for my {literal} buck. however, they were pretty small and thin. they worked okay but if i was doing it again for just one kid i would've gotten the foam sheets that they sell individually at craft stores. they are about 88 cents a sheet or something. so pretty cheap if it's just a few shapes instead of 40 (that i had to make for the Busy Bag swap). also, at Joann's they have a big pack of sticky back foam paper but you definitely don't want that. so long story short... non-sticky, thicker foam sheets :) 

-single hole punch 
{also i learned the hard way, the $1 hole punch from Wal-Mart is totally crappy and doesn't punch it all the way... so if you need to spend a little more that's probably better and will save your hand. and be quicker} 

-plastic crafting lace or shoelaces. 
however, with the shoelaces they can be a little too thick for the holes if you don't punch them big enough and can make them easier to tear. learned that the hard way... so the crafting lace is best. also, i almost tried yarn but it's too limp, can easily unravel, and is too thin to lace well.


-outlines of what shapes/animals/whatever you want to cut out 


cut out your desired shapes out of the foam paper. 

i originally wanted to use animal outlines but like i said earlier the pack of foam paper i got was too small. so instead i opted to just cut out regular shapes like triangles and hearts and pentagons... basically anything symmetrical so i could fold it in half and cut it :) 

punch holes around the edges of the shape

make sure the holes aren't too close to the edge that it will rip when you put string through. also, you don't need a lot of holes in every little inch around the edge. not only will that leave too little space between the holes and could possibly rip, but it also will get too frustrating for the kids to have to lace too many little holes you want a good, simple, evenly-spaced amount. 

you can also tell by looking at the holes how some of them aren't perfectly round and that's because my hole punch sucked. so i had to rip the rest of it off by hand. took forever.... now i know for next time!

have your child lace the cards! 

basically you're done. to start the lacing, tie a knot at the end of the string and teach your toddler to pull the string through the holes until the knot stops it. then repeat through the next hole and so on. 

easy peasy. three steps and you're done. 
i love having these Busy Bags and so does Elijah. 
he is able to play and stay entertained doing something educational instead of being glued to our phones [something we're working on, thanks to these bags!]. 

some other fun Busy Bag ideas that my friends made were: 
pool noodle rings 
going fishing game (with magnets)
popsicle puzzles 
play clothes line complete with little felt clothes 
dominoes made from tiles to match shapes and numbers
cup color sorting 
tracing games
popsicle matching game 

what Busy Bag ideas would you include? 


Amber Nicole said...

This is brilliant!! I think I'm going to try this for Maddie. She's 4 but she's SO stubborn that getting her to do much of anything that's "learning" is boring to her after the first 5 minutes or so! It's frustrating, but I do think she'd like this! Thanks for sharing

ali naqvi said...

This is stunning idea..!!! it's so inspiring me ...thanks you share these idea's...Plastic cards

maria said...

Cute baby do cute little things. I like it.
Plastic Card

SH said...

THis is such a great idea! I'm studying to become a teacher, I'll have to write this idea down :)

Hope you're having a wonderful day!
The Hartungs Blog

Ashley said...

OOh...these would be fun to make! I love the idea of doing a busy bag swap!!