Friday, November 2, 2012

Activities in a Bag

The first time I heard about Activities in a Bag was about five years ago.  Another local homeschool mom was coordinating a Preschool Activities in a Bag swap.  Since my kiddos were in 2nd, 1st, and K and I had 3 little ones under that, I was certainly intrigued.  I signed up to participate, was sent instructions to make 20 of the same "activity", then met up at a local park to swap.  I came home with a large brown grocery bag filled with 20 gallon size bags, each with a different preschool activity.  I was hooked!  My kids were hooked!  And I have been recommending Activities in a Bag ever since!

So how do they work exactly?  Well, first you will need to purchase a  Preschool Activities in a Bag ebook.  (If you are coordinating a swap, only the swap coordinator needs to purchase the ebook, not everyone participating.)  Currently, there are two volumes.  You can purchase them for $15 each or $27 for both.  I received both volumes for review.  If you are coordinating a swap, you may also want to download this Coordinator Handbook for FREE!

 Your ebook will contain instructions and printables needed to create over 30 activities.  (ebook 1 has 34 activities and ebook 2 has 33).  Each activity requires simple household item and should be placed in a gallon ziplock bag.  Affix the included label with instructions to the front of the bag for simple, educational activities to pull out at a moments notice.  Preschoolers will stay busy with these fun bags while at the doctor's office, while you are homeschooling older siblings, or fixing dinner...or just because they don't want to stop having fun!

Here are a few pics of our bags...

This activity is made up of printed puzzles that are laminated.  Puzzle pieces are printed on different color cardstock and all three puzzles are kept in one bag.

Beads are strung on a string to create a long, bendable "rope".  Preschoolers can use the included shape cards to practice making shapes with their beaded rope.

 This number recognition activity includes beads for counting out numbers.  Students can pull a card, count out the beads, then flip the card over to count the dots and see if they counted correctly.

Now, as I said before, I had participated in a Preschool Activity in a Bag Swap years ago, so I already had most of these bags.  But I jumped at the chance to review the ebooks, so that I could revamp my bags.  Admittedly after five years of play from my many children, some of the activities had been lost or emptied of their contents.  As I read through the ebooks (which include detailed instructions as well as helpful printouts to keep your swap details organized), I am thinking that I will also organize another swap.  It's perfectly fine to purchase one of these ebooks and just make a couple of activities at a time.  But it is so much easier (and I think more cost effective) to get 15 moms to each make 15 of two different activities.  And quite frankly, with a kindergartner, preschooler, and two toddlers I know that I would love to have more than one set of these activities!

The activities in Preschool Activities in a Bag cover many different skills from number recognition, letter recognition, beginning phonics, patterns, shapes, colors, fine motor skills, sorting, and more.   Many of the activities require simple supplies that you will most likely have on hand.  For example, one activity calls for plain paper, crayons, and paper clips.  Other activities will require more difficult to find items like foam letters or a dowel rod.  This is another reason why I would prefer to do assemble bags for a swap than individual bags.  I don't mind going to the hardware store and buying 15 dowel rods, knowing that another mom is going to a craft store for foam letters.  It saves time, money, and energy to do a swap.

Both Preschool Activity in a Bag ebooks 1 and 2 are outstanding resources.  I didn't favor one over the other, but felt that they were both equal in giving a variety of preschool age appropriate activities that were fun and educational. 

Here are a couple more pics of L4 enjoying Preschool Activities in a Bag.

We keep our activities in a plastic tub in our closet.  We've also participated in swaps for Reading Games in a Bag and Math Games in a Bag Science Experiments in a Bag ebooks are also offered.  Finally, I also had the opportunity to review Travel Activities in a Binder.

I was excited about this, because I knew my big kids would love it.  Plus, it was super simple to put together.  All you need is printouts from the ebook, a binder, plastic page protectors, 3 ring zipper pouch, a thin dry erase marker, a piece of felt (to use as an eraser), and a die (only used in two of the activities).  I quickly had two copies printed out and put together two Travel binders for my kiddos!

 As you can see, we fit our supplies into the zipper pouch.  Over 40 fun travel activities (like tic-tac-toe above) are included in your ebook.  More activities include ad libs, hangman, counting cows, road sign bingo, mazes, the license plate game, and so much more!

Our kids have been having so. much. FUN. with the travel binders!  They've even been playing them at home!  Travel Activities in a Binder are definitely most suited for children who are reading and writing.  My younger children were able to play some of the games with help from their big siblings.  But for the most part, it has been my 2nd-6th graders who have enjoyed these games the most.  At only $15 for the ebook, I think this is a great buy.  I will definitely purchase any additional Travel Activities in a Binder ebooks that are to come!

Also, don't miss the opportunity to get an Activity in a Bag sampler for free, just by filling out a simple survey at the Activity in a Bag website.  You can also read more reviews of these products at the Schoolhouse Review Crew blog!

Disclaimer: I have been given the wonderful opportunity to review many homeschool products over the last few years. The only compensation that I receive for my review is the free product. I feel truly blessed to have had the opportunity to participate in review groups and I have enjoyed trying out these products and giving you my honest opinion.
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1 comment:

  1. Greetings,

    Thank you so much for the wonderful review of the Activities in a Bag products. Would it be okay if I used some of your pictures on our website?? I would give credit to your blog of course, but wanted to ask first.

    Thanks again,

    Sherri MacLean



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