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...
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.
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.
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!