Several of the moms in my homeschool group got together a few weeks ago to exchange preschool activity bags. These are Zip-Loc bags that contain all the pieces a preschooler would need to entertain herself independently for a while. We had 12 moms participating. Two of us decided to make two activity bags so in all, each participant went home with 14 kits to keep their little ones occupied while Mom works with older siblings.
Here's what's in our bags:
ABC Caterpillar - This is one of the bags I made. I saw this on someone's blog not long ago, but could not for the life of me find it again. I wanted to go back and look at the caterpillar face she had drawn because it was much cuter than mine, but never could find it. If this was your blog, please let me know. There were a lot of cute ideas on the blog and I like to give credit where credit is due. Anyway, the main purpose of this activity is to help with letter recognition. Spice's job here was to lay out the plates in ABC order. It takes up a lot of space. Once she has them laid out, I call out letters for her to hop to or simple three letter CVC words for her to spell.
Sort and Pour - Obviously the point here is to sort the beads into cups by color. Spice spent a lot of time on this one the other day. Picking up all those little tiny beads is hard work! She also practiced pouring beads from cup to cup.
The rest of the bags were...
Push Pin Punch Art Activity - A washcloth to use as a mat, a push pin, construction paper, templates of simple shapes (heart, star, leaf...), and a clothespin to clip it all together. The purpose is to punch holes around the chosen shape with the push pin.
I Spy Bottle - This one is of course a big hit. My kids love the I Spy books. I have been planning to make one of these for ohhh about 8 months now so I was thrilled to get it and clean out the cabinet full of bottles I had saved. It came with a laminated print-out with pictures of all the objects in the bottle and a dry-erase marker so the child can mark off each item as it is found.
Writing - A mini chalkboard, sponge eraser, chalk, and a sheet of pre-writing songs.
Fishing Game - Much like the one I described here but with numbers instead of words.
Color Matching - This bag has strips with various shades of the same color along with matching clothespins. The object is to clip the clothespin to the correct color card.
Pizza Math - Three pizza puzzles divided into different fraction amounts. The child has to match the correct pieces together to make a whole pizza.
Fine Motor Skills Bag - This bag has several activities: Attaching clothespins to a cup, carrying pompoms on a spoon and dropping into the cup, lacing noodles on a string, and arranging wiki sticks on drawings.
ABC Sound Cards - One set of letter cards and three picture cards per letter to be matched up.
Number Matching - One set of index cards numbered 1-10 to be paired with a second set of cards with 1-10 stickers. (Not pictured.)
File Folder Game - This kit contains a folder with multiple pockets on it and blank laminated strips of paper. The strips and pockets can be programmed for a variety of activities like matching upper/lowercase letters, placing the appropriate number of strips in a pocket pre-programmed with a number... I wrote simple addition problems on each pocket for Spice the other day and included the necessary number of craft sticks. She had to solve each problem and place the correct # of sticks in the pocket. If she ended up with too many or not enough craft sticks, she knew one of her answers was incorrect.
What Comes Next? - Cards and counters for practicing patterns and sequencing. (Not pictured.)
Beads and Pipe Cleaners - Six colored pipe cleaners with matching beads that are to be placed on the correct pipe cleaner. There are also four pre-patterned pipe cleaners for practicing sequencing or color mixing.
I have been doling the activities out one or two at a time for Spice. I don't want her to use them all up in a day or two and have the novelty wear off. I keep them all together in a bin. Eventually I will let her pick and choose which bags to work with when she needs something to do. She has been having a great time with them and of course Sport always has to get in on the action even though he's waaaayyy past the preschool years.