Noah’s Ark Felt Board Busy Bag Tutorial

Lately I’ve been involved in a Busy Bag Exchange group on Facebook.

“What’s a Busy Bag”, you may ask?  A Busy Bag is an activity that fits inside a ziplock bag for your child to play with either alone or with an adult to, in essence, keep the child busy.  In a Busy Bag Exchange group, people make multiple Busy Bags of the same variety and exchange them with others so that they end up with a variety of different busy bags, while only having to make one variety themselves.

This past month, I belonged to a Bible themed Busy Bag group.  I created a Noah’s Ark Felt Board Busy Bag.  Here is the tutorial.

What you need:

1. Felt, assorted colors

I used dark brown for ark, medium blue for board/water, orange/yellow for giraffe, light blue for elephant, pink for pig & dark green for turtle

2. Cardboard

3. Pen/Pencil/Permanent Marker

4. Scissors

5. Cardstock paper (optional)

6. Printer paper (optional)

7. Computer/printer (optional)

Once all the materials are gathered, you’re ready to begin.


1. Trace ark and animals to cardboard using pen/pencil.  I created my own ark by drawing a half circle and a rectangular piece on top for a lookout with windows.  I also created a rectangle piece for a ramp to bring animals onto the ark.  You can use whatever animals you like best.  Simply find them online, print them out and trace onto cardboard or draw animals by free hand.  I do not have specific dimensions of these because you can recreate this at whatever size you prefer.  I started with 6 animals (giraffe, elephant, pig, cow, turtle and monkey) but only ended up doing 4 of them because cutting out these animals in felt is a long process.

2. Next cut out animal/ark tracings from cardboard.

3. Use these cardboard tracings to trace ark pieces and then cut out felt pieces.

On the ark lookout (small rectangle piece) I drew 2 black circles with a permanent marker for windows.  This could also be done using black felt and added as an extra piece for kids to put together, if you’d like.

On the ark ramp (large rectangle piece) I drew solid black lines to look like a ladder going up the entire ramp.  Again, could be done with black felt, as an extra option.

4. Repeat step 3 with animal cardboard tracings.  You will need 2 of each animal per  Busy Bag.  Trace onto felt and cut.  Repeat this step with all animals.  This is the most time-consuming step.

5. Next, you will need to cut out a background to put your pieces together on.  I created a 10″ x 10″ square of blue felt for the background.  This could be made bigger or adjusted in any way.

I am just leaving the square of felt alone, but you could actually glue or velcro the felt to cardboard or wood to make an actual felt board surface if you’d like.

6. Now I created a story to match my felt pieces.  I simply recreated the Noah’s Ark story from the Bible using words small children could understand.  This is optional.  If you didn’t want to write out a story, you could just read the story in the Bible while your child creates the story on the Felt Board.

Noah Walked With God story

7. I printed the story out on printer paper and cut out small portions (12 in total for this story), which I glued (using a glue stick) onto card stock paper.  This allows children and parents to read small portions of the story at a time, while creating the story on their felt board.

I plan to put the story together by punching a hole in the card stock and either combining the cards with a ring or tied string.

8. Now that the story is complete.  It’s time to put the entire Busy Bag together.

First, Start with your Felt Board

Second, Help Noah build an Ark  (1/2 circle and Lookout with windows)

Third, Add the ramp for the animals

Fourth, Help Noah bring 2 of each animal onto the Ark

Fifth, Read the story over and over again with your child!

Once the entire contents of the busy bag is together, you can package in a plastic bag or some sort of container and either give to another person (such as in a Busy Bag exchange) or store for easy travel and use for your children.

Busy bags are a great idea especially for traveling in cars, on airplane rides, going to the Doctor’s office or any traveling.  They are are also great learning tools for homeschooling or just creative learning activities to do on a daily basis.  Plus the options are endless.  For other Busy Bag activity ideas, visit Pinterest or google “Busy Bags”.


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Sweet Giveaways…

So, I haven’t blogged for a while.  Being a mom and trying to spend time doing fun things with my family when I’m not working takes priority over blogging.  Hopefully I can find some time soon, as I really do enjoy blogging.

In the meantime, here are a couple of sweet giveaways from another mother’s blog.

Rose loves her nuk/binkie.  In fact, lately she will wake up at night crying just because she can’t find it.  We’re always trying to find a nuk around our apartment, so this Binkie Bungee Giveaway is just what I need.  Check it out!

Binkie Bungee Giveaway

Bambo Nature Diaper Giveaway

We use cloth diapers at home, but when we travel it is easier to use disposable.  We’re always looking for eco-friendly disposable diapers, and these Bambo Nature diapers look like a great option!

And for the momma who wants to be fashionable…  here are some sweet necklace designs.

Go Mommy Design Giveaway

Good luck to all; however, I still hope I win!

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8 weeks old and so cute.

My baby girl is 8 weeks old today.  WOW; how time flies!

She is turning into a young lady right before our eyes.  Smiling, giggling, cooing, even holding her own weight and standing while we balance her.  She’s beautiful, an amazing work of art.  Thank you Lord for this wonderful blessing.  Being a mother to Rose is better than I could have ever dreamed.


Smiling Rose


There are many topics I wish I would have written over the past 8 weeks; however, being a mom alters my time commitments.  I’m lucky if I get a shower once every 3 days.  But there are some posts I would still like to write.  In the coming weeks, I plan on blogging about the following topics.

– Breastfeeding: the good, the bad, the ugly

– Saving money and the environment: Cloth diapers and wipes

– Life as a mom: the truth about 6 weeks postpartum

I have a lot of things to say, so lets hope that Rose continues to sleep well at night and take her daily naps during the daytime so I can write!  Thanks for reading.  Blessings to you all.

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Rose’s Birth Story

Now that Rose is officially 8 weeks old, I think it’s finally about time to write her birth story.

As time passed my due date of January 15th, I started to become anxious, not anxious about labor or delivery, but anxious to meet the little baby that had grown in my uterus for the past 40 weeks.  Was the baby a boy or a girl?  Would the baby look like Paul or me?  How much would the baby weigh at birth?  All questions that ran through my head.  I never once worried about labor or delivery, nor did the thought of complications ever cross my mind.  Throughout my pregnancy, I planned for a natural vaginal birth without pain.  After looking into different birthing options, I decided to use Hypnobirthing as my method of pain control and relaxation during labor and delivery.  Hypnobirthing is a natural method of birthing that focuses on breathing and a higher relaxation state.  It is said that with Hypnobirthing, one can find themselves in such a deep relaxing state that no pain is felt during labor, simply pressure as the baby moves down the birthing canal.

The beginning of Labor

4 nights before Rose was born, I began having uterine contractions surges.  They began irregular and then would become more regular; however they only occurred in the evenings and never became less than 5 minutes apart.  On the eve of January 21st, the uterine surges began once again; however by midnight the surges ceased and an immense back discomfort began instead.  Initially this back pain pressure occurred as irregular as the uterine surges; however than it became constant.  With Hypnobirthing, I was taught to never refer to the contractions as painful; however, these back surges were definitely painful, like a knife constantly jabbed in my lower back.  From midnight to 6 am, I couldn’t sleep, lie down, stand, or even sit.  I was continuously pacing the apartment, unable to find any comfortable position.  After 6 hours of constant pain, we decided enough was enough, so Paul and I packed our hospital bags in our car and left for the hospital.  I always wanted to stay at home during labor until right before the baby was born; however, with constant pain it was very difficult to know when would be the right time.  We decided it was better to be at the hospital than at home, just in case something was wrong with me or the baby.

Hospital: Dilated to 3 cm (6:00 am, 1/22/11)

When we arrived to the Birthing Center, the nurse applied an external uterine monitor which showed I was definitely having regular uterine contractions.  At this time, my cervix was dilated to 3 cm.  The nurse was well-versed in Hypnobirthing and coached my breathing and relaxation exercises.

Hospital: Dilated to 5 cm (4:00 pm, 1/22/11)

After approximately 8 hours of back labor and failing to find any comfortable positions, my cervix was dilated to 5 cm.  We were given the option of staying at the hospital or continuing labor at home, and we decided to stay at the hospital, since it appeared my labor was progressing.  Later that evening, a nurse rechecked my cervix dilation and stated my cervix was dilated to 7 cm.  A couple of hours later I was dilated to 9 cm.  My labor was progressing and Paul and I began to become extremely excited to have our baby!  Once I was dilated to 9 cm, we decided to have our Physician rupture my membranes so labor would continue to progress.

Labor ceases to progress (3:30 am 1/23/11)

The Provider we chose to delivery our baby arrived to our hospital room.  Using something that resembles a hook, he examined my cervix and poked a very small hole in the amniotic sac, “breaking my water”.  Small drops of fluid began dripping onto the floor around me, never a gush, just occasional drops of clear fluid.  After leaving the room for about 10 minutes, the Physician returned with bad news.  I was still only dilated to 5 cm, my labor was not progressing as we had thought.  The nurse screwed up.  We were devastated.  The anticipation of a baby had become so high that hearing this news immediately brought tears to my eyes.  Not only was my labor not progressing, but now my water was broke and time for delivery was limited.  To say I was emotional is an understatement.  I felt frustration, anger and fear.  I was frustrated that the nurse incorrectly measured the dilation of my cervix TWICE and that my labor was not progressing despite continued back labor and uterine contractions.  I was angry because the physician failed to mention my cervix was only dilated to 5 cm until AFTER he ruptured my membranes.  Had I known my labor was not progressing, I would not have had my membranes ruptured, as this is a medical procedure disallowing the natural course of delivery to occur and it leads to increased risk of infection for both me and the baby.  At this time, I was afraid.  I feared for the life of the small child in my womb.  I feared that I would have to endure a C-section.  I feared for the unknown.  At this point, the pain I had been experiencing was the least of my worries.  I wanted this baby to be born healthy, my number one priority for the remainder of my hospital stay.

Helping my labor progress (8:00 am 1/23/11)

After rupturing my membranes, my cervix remained dilated to 5 cm.  Since it was obvious my uterus was not contracting enough to dilate my cervix, the nurse and physician started me on Pitocin, a drug that augments or induces labor by increasing uterine contractions.  After a few hours of Pitocin at a small dose, my cervix remained dilated at 5 cm, so my nurse recommended increasing the Pitocin.  Since Pitocin increases uterine contractions in an unnatural way, the labor pains experienced are much more painful, so she also recommended an epidural injection for pain control.  At this point I was incredibly tired from not sleeping and being unable to lie down, sit or stand still for so many hours.  All I could do was pace the room, and I was tired.  We decided to receive the Epidural injection and increase Pitocin.

Epidural, Pitocin and Football (12:00 pm 1/23/11)

Two Nurse Anesthetists arrived to my hospital room.  Using sterile procedure and some extremely long needles, they bore holes into my spine and injected a pain reliever and a numbing medication.  Almost instantly, my body from the waist down began to feel numb.  I could no longer control or feel my legs.  From that moment on, I was bound to my bed.  The Obstetrician on call inserted an internal monitoring device into my uterus so we could monitor the strength of my uterine contractions, while two nurses inserted a catheter into my bladder.  It felt like there were tubes and monitors everywhere: I had an IV in my left hand, spinal port in my back, fetal monitor and external uterine monitor on my abdomen, internal uterine monitor in my vagina/uterus and a catheter in my urethra/bladder.  At least the pain had ceased and I was somewhat comfortable so we could watch the Green Bay Packers beat the Chicago Bears in the Conference Championship, all while labor continued.

Monitoring uterine contractions (2:00 pm 1/23/11)

The internal uterine monitor was able to measure the strength of my uterine contractions, demonstrating that my uterus definitely was not contracting strong enough to dilate my cervix.  This allowed the nurse to continue increasing Pitocin until my uterus was contracting strong enough.  At this point, we were told we had 2 hours remaining for my labor to progress.  If my cervix did not dilate to 9 or 10 cm within the next 2 hours, we would have a C-section.

Labor progresses: Dilated to “Almost” 10 cm (4:00 pm 1/23/11)

Pitocin worked!  2 hours later, my cervix had almost dilated fully and I was told to start pushing whenever I felt strong contractions.  Even though I had received an epidural, I could still recognize contractions and, as the baby moved down the birthing canal, I could feel the entire pushing and delivery process.

Pushing (4:30 pm 1/23/11)

The room was filled with people: 2 nurses, a doctor, my husband and mother: all there to support me and coach me through breathing and pushing.  Since I was bed-bound, my mother and Paul each held a leg as I curled my entire body into a ball, aligning my pelvis opening with the vagina to assist baby’s delivery.  Thank God for yoga. With each contraction and pressure felt, I pushed hard and strong.  I never felt pain, only pressure; however, at times the pressure was intense.  The onlookers would say “There’s the head, keep pushing!”  There is only so much one could push at any given time, before becoming tired and going limp.  Small cat naps, lasting around 15 seconds, between pushes assisted the process.  Finally, she was almost here.  “Just one more push.”

The Delivery of Rose Marie (4:58 pm 1/23/11)

With one last push, her head emerged, followed by the remainder of her body.  Paul proudly proclaimed “It’s a girl” while the Physician untangled her umbilical cord which was wrapped around her neck twice.  10 fingers, 10 toes, and immediately I heard a strong, healthy cry.  My baby had been born and she was beautiful.  The tears began flowing as I took her into my arms.  36 hours of labor at the hospital completely forgotten as I gazed into her beautiful blue eyes.  My miracle had been born.  Thank you, Jesus.

Rose right after being born

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Baby Bullet Giveaway!

Life as a mother is much more challenging than I ever realized.  I realized I still haven’t blogged about Rose’s birth or any of my motherhood experiences.  Blog to come very soon, I promise!

I found this great blog called “Six in the Nest” and they’re currently giving away a Baby Bullet!  I have looked into making my own baby food (when the time comes) and the Baby Bullet is just what I need.  If you want to create your own baby food too, check out this blog and this giveaway!

Six in the Nest: Baby Bullet Giveaway

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Rose Marie has arrived!

We had a beautiful baby girl!  Rose Marie Kluesner was born on January 23rd.  She weighed 7 pounds, 3 ounces, was 20.5 inches long and is strong and healthy.  She is a wonderful miracle…

Rose in her daddy's hands

Rose doing what she loves best...eating her fingers!

More posts about her birth story to come in the near future…

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Nursing Cover Project

Since I got my new sewing machine, I’ve been attempting to teach myself how to use the machine by making things for my future baby.  Awhile ago I decided to make some nursing covers, and today I finally did!

I used these instructions to sew my own nursing cover.  This is very easy, even for someone like myself who has sewed very little in my lifetime.

I apologize for the poor picture quality.  Lighting is bad and I used my camera phone.


the finished back side with pockets in each bottom corner

corner pocket

short strap with D rings, I straight stitched and reverse stitched both straps to make sure they are extra sturdy

top part of front showing both straps and corset boning sewed into nursing cover

the finished nursing cover! ready for use!

This was a lot of fun to make, especially because it made me think about breastfeeding my little baby, which is something I am really looking forward to…  I can’t wait to make some more nursing covers as gifts for other expecting women!


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