Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Busy Bags {For Adalyn}

One of the biggest challenges I've faced this first month of Homeschooling is keeping my middle daughter Adalyn, the two year old, entertained while I instruct Marin. Cutting paper, gluing paper to paper and playing with stickers only held her attention for a brief little while. I began saving empty plastic containers and filling them with buttons for her to sort between and dump from one container to another. Once I discovered how hands on she was I began looking for "busy bag" ideas to keep her entertained. Here's what I came up with after researching so many great ideas. (See source list at the end of this post.)
Color Trees: Separate felt triangles from the color coordinating clothes pins and have the child find the matching pieces and place them together. 
Pom Pom Magnets: Child sorts colored, magnetic pom poms on to color coordinating popsicle sticks covered in magnetic tape. You might also create a unique pattern on one stick and ask your child to mimic the pattern on another stick.
Button Snake: When I saw this idea, I was excited to recreate my own version. Using rainbow colored felt I cut hearts with slits large enough for this plastic button to slide through. Simple to create with items I already had.
Number Cards with Jewels: In a "girl house" you can never have too much bling. I created these number cards with circles just the right size for jazzing up with these sparkly princess jewels. I laminated the cards and give just one to Adalyn at a time (right now). Once she fills in the circles, we count them together.
 Above is how I store each of these activities. In a three, ring pencil holder. These slide into a 3" binder.
Princess Matching Game: On one side are permanent patterns. On the other side the child must find the objects that match the left side and recreate it on the right. I just bought a big bag of foam shapes and letter half size foam cards. Unfortunately  more often that not, Adalyn just wants peel the backing from the foam pieces and stick them to her hands.
Clothesline: This is hands down Marin's favorite activity. The pattern is free on Money Saving Mom and was super easy to make.
More Busy Bag Resources:
Motherhood on a Dime
Money Saving Mom
Second Story Window
Play At Home Mom

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