There once was a time that I didn't go anywhere prepared as a mother. Sure, I had diapers and bottles and the necessary items. But, I was never prepared with activities for my kids at restaurants or in waiting rooms or just in the car for longer car rides.

I'll never forget the moment I read about a "Busy Bag" for the first time. I had no idea what that meant, but wow, has it changed my life as a mama.

If you aren't familiar with the term, a Busy Bag is exactly what you'd guess it is—a bag full of supplies that will keep your kids busy anywhere you go. In our case, since my youngest is 2 and I only need a few necessities these days, I use a really adorable lavender Jon Hart backpack (it's expensive, I know. It was a splurge!) for both the aforementioned necessities and our busy goodies for my very active almost six-year-old son and my very opinionated 2-year-old daughter.

So, what's in my busy bag? I'm so glad you asked. Let's get into it...literally.

Boogie Boards. Starting things out with a bang, my friends. These are the MVP of our busy bag. I don't go anywhere without them. They are simple yet magical. These boards come with a stylus and a magical button that erases whatever they decide to draw. It's like the modern version of an etch-a-sketch but with a stylus and no need to shake.

Road Washi Tape and Wooden Cars. I'm still lobbying for Copernicus Toys to win the Nobel Peace Prize for their Civil Engineer Washi Tape. One of the most genius inventions for mothers of toddlers on the go! Civil Engineer Washi Tape boasts 10 meters of paper washi tape with intersections, crosswalks, and of course bike lanes for your little vehicle lovers! Slap it on any surface, add some wooden cars (or Hot Wheels!), and peel it off (without damaging any surface) before you go. Brilliant.

Sketch Books and Coloring Books. Paper for coloring is essential, so I always keep one English Cottage Sketchbook and one Rainforest Sketchbook in our busy bag, along with this toddler-appropriate coloring book and a superhero coloring book in our bag. 

Coloring supplies. This is the fun part. I grabbed a simple plastic pencil box and I love cycling through different coloring supplies to keep things fresh. Some of our favorites include Chunkies (always), Switcheroos (my kids' #1 favorite), Crayola Twistables, Jumbo Double Pencils, Super Tips, Rainbow Sparkle Gel Crayons, and, of course, Scented Glitter Gel Pens

Rainbow Scratch Art Pads. Clearly, my kids love coloring! My son, in particular, loves these cheap Rainbow Scratch Art Pads. It's kinda like magic to see the black turn to colors with the little wooden pen. 

Magnet Play. Simple but easy, this Magnetic Apple Drawing Board is always a hit. We have also been loving this Wild Mix-Up Magnetic Play Kit. We also have the Eric Carle one, which is equally as adorable. I love that you can change the background, but it's all contained in the case. 

Trending Toys. I like to keep things fun and bring along a small toy that they're into at any given time. For my son, Bakugan's were really popular in his kindergarten class this year. I can't claim to actually understand them, but I love that they fold up into small balls. They're easy to keep in our bag! My daughter is wildly into baby dolls, so I keep this 8-inch baby in our bag. It's really cute, great quality, and only $11! 

Snacks. Last, but absolutely not least: snacks. I keep this adorable Snacks Pouch filled with my kids' favorites—apple sauce, fruit snacks, granola bars, chex mix, and goldfish. Keeping the snacks in a separate pouch lets me know easily what we have and what needs to be restocked. 

So that's it! It's not anything Earth-shattering, but it really is so handy to have things you know your kids love on-hand to keep them occupied while you try to survive the waiting room or enjoy a dinner out as a family. I hope you'll email me ( and let me know what's in YOUR busy bag so I can refresh my own!