Go ahead and make that important phone call, Mom. We’ve got just what you need to keep your toddler occupied — and no, it doesn’t involve screen time. Whether you’re sitting in the waiting room at the doctor’s office, need long road trip must-haves or are just stuck inside on a rainy day, busy bags are a great option for impromptu play sessions. From color matching to building with LEGOS, these 12 easy-to-put-together and endlessly entertaining busy bag activities will simultaneously unleash their inner Einstein and let their creative side flourish. But beware — some of these are so fun you’ll be begging for a turn.


1. Story Stones: Go foraging for a handful of smooth, flat rocks with your little adventurer. Paint a different image on each one and challenge them to create a story with the rocks. Package them in a simple drawstring bag and pull them out the next time your kid says they’re “so booored“. (via Crafting Connections)


2. Magnetic Tote Bag: Grab a plain tote bag and slap on two coats of magnetic paint. Once it dries, use alphabet magnets to create various words and phrases. If your little one is just learning to spell, make a few flash cards with basic words like their name so they can recreate them on the bag. (via Ducklings in a Row)


3. Pom-Pom Matching: Teach your kiddo counting and fine motor skills, all in one easy-to-make game. Use all the same color pom-poms or go with a bunch of different ones and have them group the colors together as they place them on the card. (via Mama, Papa, Bubba)


4. Mini Road Map: Nothing is a better distraction than this printable road map when packaged with a few of your little one’s favorite toy cars. They’ll be quietly zooming down and around the curved roads while you finally get a load of laundry folded. When you’re done, have them point out all the different things they see on the map, like the house, trees, mountains and the sailboat. (via The DIY Mommy)


5. Princess Puppets: Bring out your kid’s inner storyteller with these adorable sock puppets. While they may look intricate, the printable patterns make putting these together super simple. At least now you’ll have a use for all those single socks. (via Fynes Designs)


6. Pie Weaving: Your budding baker will get a kick out weaving their very own pie crust. This will not only keep them busy, but it will also help those little fingers get the hang of being gentle and working slowly. (via Bubbles and Bobbins)


7. Felt Pizza: Rummage though your scrap felt stash and cut out a ton of tiny toppings like olives, pepperonis and mushrooms. Make a booklet to go along with it that shows your family’s favorite topping combinations — your kid will love recreating each one. (via Nick and Lanae)


8. Sponge Blocks: This is a great quiet activity for your older child to do while their younger sibling is napping. Cut ordinary kitchen sponges into different shapes with sharp scissors and watch your little architect erect all kinds of castles and towers. These would also be a fun addition to any pool, water table or even bath time. (via Inner Child Fun)


9. Popsicle Stick Puzzle: Take one of your favorite pictures and spread a thin layer of Mod Podge on the back before laying down the popsicle sticks. Once everything is dry, use a razor blade to carefully cut between each stick. Make a bunch of these and store each one in a sandwich bag for easy activities for your kids to do while you get dinner ready. (via Living Sola Gratia)


10. Shape Game: Now your kiddo can learn about shapes and colors at the same time. Have them match each shape to its outline and identify each color as they go. Attach small strips of velcro to each piece and you won’t lose any no matter how you store it. (via Mama, Papa, Bubba)


11. Portable LEGO Kit: Perfect for your little LEGOmaniac, this travel kit will get hours of play. Include cards showing different combinations for them to put together and watch their wheels turn as they start building. Include a “create your own” card in the stack and you’ll be amazed at what they come up with. (via Fun at Home With Kids)


12. Color Shade Matching: A few paint chips and clothespins are all you need to put this shade matching activity together. Pretty soon they’ll be telling you which color looks best when you’re picking out a new throw blanket or curtains for the house. (via See Vanessa Craft)

Which one of these busy bag activities will your kid love most? Do you have any others we need to try? Snap a pic and use the hashtag #iamcreative on Instragram so we can see!