A good friend of mine recently hosted an activity bag exchange for young children and toddlers. Each Mum involved made 13 copies of an activity of their choice. We all got together for a chat and to exchange our bags with each other, leaving us all with 13 different activities to use with our own children. Here are the wonderful bags the ladies made. (While none of these are original ideas, they can be found in so many places across the web that I haven’t tried to give credit to sources in most cases.)
Pizza factory. The children follow the order cards to custom-make each pizza according to their customer’s preferences. (Links to free printable order cards and other busy bag swap ideas here.)
Popstick pattern match. Use the coloured popsticks to copy the picture patterns. Several of the cards have plain colours on the back to convert the activity to a colour match instead.
Button snake. Great for learning how to do up buttons; excellent for fine motor control. The felt pieces are pushed on and off the “snake” using the button head.
Pipecleaner bracelets. Thread the cut straws onto the pipecleaners to make patterns and jewellery. You could do this as a colour matching activity if you have the right straws and pipe cleaner colours
Sandpaper and wool pictures. Again with patterns to follow and copy, placing the pieces of wool onto the sandpaper to make pictures.
Paper clip feet. Slide the paper clips onto the toes by colour or write a number on each foot for counting practise as well as fine motor skills. Young children can just pile the paperclips on top if it is too difficult to push them on.
Tissue paper pictures. Tear pieces of tissue or crumple into balls to decorate the pictures or make you own with the blank paper and glue. Stickers and crayons are added for extra fun as well.
Paint swatch pegging. Pincer grip (necessary for writing later) is exercised by opening the pegs to match them to the correct colour swatch.
Shape puzzle. A simple make-your-own puzzle with foam sheet cut into geometric shapes
Pop-pom push jar. Push the pompoms through 2 sizes of holes into the plastic container. (Tip: Use a drill to make the holes.)
My youngest enjoyed the pompom posting and soon figured out that he could shake the small ones back out again – saving me the trouble of taking the lid on and off for him!
Felt chains. Perfect timing for Christmas! While the rest of the family are producing reams of paper chain to decorate the entire house (or is that just my children?) the youngest can be practising with felt and velcro, to be made and re-made over and over again.
Other posts you may find helpful:
Ziploc activity bags for toddlers and preschoolers
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