The following are not proper busy bags, and they didn't take that much effort to make (or I didn't actually make them at all), so I thought I'd lump them all into one post. The Post of Other Stuff to Keep Lucy Busy in a Car.
1.) Marble maze. I found this idea through Pinterest along with the others. Here is a link.
There's a marble in there. The object is to moosh it around the seam lines from one side to the other. Kinda fun. Actually it sounds really fun for a really tired person.
Amazingly enough, I did not have a marble in my stash. I am still slightly flabbergasted by this fact. Nor could I find any whilst out at thrift stores and garage sales. I couldn't even find a game of Chinese checkers with real marbles. Nor did I have any large, round beads! It was crazy. So the thing that's in there is actually a round plastic pearl button with the loop broken off. It works, but it would be better with something weightier, I think. (On the plus side, if I ever find a marble, it will be easy enough to rip out part of the seam and replace it.)
2.) Notebook, markers, and stickers.
Lucy is, of course, enamored with little spiral-bound notebooks that flip open (like the ones on Blue's Clues). She's gone through two from Target, and she picked out a new one at the Dollar Tree for our trips. (The new one has Mr. Potato Head on it. ::shrug::) So I'll put that, some new markers, and a bunch of stickers in another pencil pouch.
The stickers are from my own stash. I used to collect stickers in high school (but not in one of those little books -- on their sheets). I'm soooooooooo glad I saved them all. They're like magic. Anytime I need to pacify Lucy, I just pull out another sheet of stickers. And I have hundreds of sheets. I always bring a new sheet when we eat out at a restaurant. For the trips, I'm thinking I probably shouldn't put all the sheets in the pencil pouch at once, given her penchant for pulling all the stickers off the sheet and sticking them in a pile on one piece of paper. She enjoys this, but it means she goes through stickers really fast. I think I'll hold back a stash for emergencies.
3.) Digital voice recorder. (Kinda like this.)
I found this in a free pile in our neighborhood the other day. It's just a little, beat-up voice recorder. All it needed was 2 AAA batteries, and it works great! I was so glad to find it, as I was reminiscing recently about my tape recorder I had when I was little. Hours of fun! Lucy already knows how to operate it, and she thinks it's hysterical. So that's definitely going in the car!
4.) Glow sticks.
I brought these the last time we moved, but I was a little unorganized on the Lucy entertainment front, so they didn't really get used. But if we're out at night, I think these will be fun.
5.) Finger puppets, Jasmine, and Mulan. (Except that it's the Mulan dressed up like Ping, which apparently is pretty rare, and here we are dragging her around the house running her into things. Yep.)
I made her those finger puppets for Easter, and she plays with them some. But what she really loves are her Jasmine and Mulan action figures that we found in a box of clothes and toys from Freecycle. Oh my goodness -- she just runs around with them all day having them talk to each other. So I think I'll stick the finger puppets and the gals in another pencil pouch.
(In other news, based on the search for a photo of the Jasmine figure, it appears that all the figures of Jasmine manufactured after 1992 were not "action figures" so much as they were "stand around and look sassy figures". Fitting, I suppose.)
6.) Colorforms (essentially).
I found these on Amazon while looking for paper dolls. Everyone loves Melissa & Doug, right? Well, they sell these pads of backgrounds and "stickers", which are really just window clings/Colorforms. There's a set with stuff around the house, and a set with animals and habitats. Honestly, I bought both because I couldn't get over how fabulous it will be when Lucy decides there should be dinosaurs in the bathtub, or a grandfather clock in the jungle, etc, etc.
In a moment of brilliant insight, I decided to remove the white from around all the clings before handing them to Lucy in the car. I had a sudden vision of Lucy whining and screaming from the back seat because she couldn't peel the clings off, and decided to nip that in the bud.
7.) Pipe cleaners.
I just stuffed a bunch of different colored pipe cleaners into -- you guessed it -- a pencil pouch. Who knows what she'll come up with to do with them!
8.) Bubble wands.
These are for the rest stops. It's a good way to get up and move around at a stop without the hazards of losing a ball or frisbee in traffic.
9.) Travel tray.
And to top it all off, we bought her one of these. It's soft, so it won't be a crash hazard, it's got little walls to keep the stuff on it, and it has side pockets! Lucy is so tall and our back seat is situated such that she can put her feet on the seat that her car seat is on, and when she does her knees are up a little bit higher than her lap, so this should work perfectly! The only complaints from reviewers seemed to be that because the tray is soft, kids can't draw on it. But that's what the cookie sheet is for!
So there you have it. Geez, now I feel like I have too much time on my hands or something.
There's one more project coming, but it's not really a proper busy bag. More like an emergency purse toy....
I realized I should add this one, as it's summer movie season. We realized (quite by accident) that when we take Lucy to the movies, we should bring a sheet of bubble wrap. It keeps her quiet and occupied, and it can be a nice stress relief if the movie gets a little intense. And the movies are always so loud that no one notices the popping noise. I'd bring some on the road trips, but I think we've got plenty going on...