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Home » Blog » Blog Posts » Busy Binders For the Classroom
Written by: Katie Palmer

Have you heard the buzz about “busy binders”? Even though most people may think of binders full of activities to keep little ones busy in the car, did you know busy binders are an amazing resource for the classroom as well? This post will take a look at ideas for what to put inside busy binders and how to make/use them.

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What is a Busy Binder?

Busy binders have become a popular tool to keep preschoolers and toddlers busy in the car. This keeps kids busy with meaningful activities, and not staring at a screen. They are binders full of learning activities in page protectors. Velcro is often placed on the page protectors. This is so kids can velcro down manipulatives that match the activity. In the toddler/preschool version, most of the activities are matching themed. Check out this example of a toddler busy binder from Active Littles.

I know you are saying, that's cute and all, but how does this apply to my 1st or 2nd grade students? I am here to tell you, busy binders for the elementary classroom are a great tool!

Busy Binders for the Classroom

Busy binders can be used meaningfully in the classroom! There are many options!

Busy Binders Uses:

  • Early finisher activities
  • Indoor recess
  • School-to-home extension
  • Independent center time
  • Seasonal activity times

Can you think of more ideas? If so, drop a comment below to let us know!

How to Make a Busy Binder

How can you make a a set of 1st or 2nd grade busy binders? And where to find activities for busy binders? Don't worry, Team Lucky Little Learners has got it covered! Try this step by step tutorial to create your busy binders for the classroom.

1-Get your Materials

Determine how many busy binders you need. Are you going to have enough just for a small group, or the whole class? When using busy binders in 1st or 2nd grade, you could laminate the pages and hole punch them instead of using page protectors. Students can also write on the laminate or page protectors with whiteboard markers instead of using velcro dots. (Just make sure they are erased right away!) Decide what busy binder method will work best for your classroom, then check out the affordable materials options below.


Page Protectors

Velcro Dots

Print this activity HERE

2-Find your Activities

Deciding what to put in the busy binders can be easy. Lucky Little Learners has the Bundling Tool on All Access! What is the bundling tool? It allows teachers to bundle several resources from All Access to print all at once! See the bundling tool in action below.

Use the bundling tool for new busy binders each month or season! Here are some lists from All Access already created that are perfect activities for busy binders!

👉Spelling Practice Pages👈

Use this list over and over in busy binders for whiteboard marker spelling practice.

👉Cut & Paste Activities👈

Turn these cut & paste activities into velcro dot busy binder activities!

3-Protect & Store your Activities

Once you have all the activities printed, it is time to make them last! Like I mentioned above, you can use page protectors or laminate and 3 hole punch the activities. Whichever works best for you! Attach an envelope on the back of each activity page to store the little pieces (if you are doing the velcro dots). Binder pencil pouches are also a great storage method.

Bonus Idea: Road Trip Binders!

Hopefully these ideas keep your students not just busy, but actively engaged in their learning!

Happy teaching!


  1. Amanda Enser

    so I see the decodable progression chart but I’m still having to dig through and look for each individual piece. do you have like the first grade and second grade decodable or phonics bundles like ready already and order of the progression?

    • Jess Dalrymple

      Hello Amanda, Thank you for suggesting this – we are going to work on a linked list of decodables to match the order of the progressions! In the mean time, it is a timesaver to search for a skill (i.e. “short vowel passages”) then click into one of the passages you want to download. From there, click on the link, “See more from this activity” to open all short vowel passages in one window. I hope that helps! Stay tuned for a linked list that matches the progression!


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