Sunday, May 13, 2012

Toddler Busy Bags

Homeschooling with a toddler or preschooler can be interesting to say the least. It can be like trying to wrestle a cat into a bathtub full of water - near impossible and someone is coming away damaged.

You get all kinds of good advice.  Train the toddler to sit still - because that sounds so nice. That would get me good mommy marks for sure and how cool would it be, at any time, to be able to say, "Sit still", and actually have your 2 year old sit still.  Seeing as how I have yet to train my 12 year old how to sit still, I did not think I would be able to accomplish that.

The next piece of advice I enjoyed was to let your child look at books, quietly, while you taught the other children.  Ok.  That resulted in several books with crayons decorating all the pages that were not ripped out.  I may be the only homeschooling mom who has kids that destroy books and don't actually handle them with fear and reverence, like they are the source of life.

So, the next idea was to create little bags of thing, projects, toys, ect, that were to be brought out ONLY when homeschooling the older ones and the system that told you how to do it only cost.... Yep, it cost.  I do believe the laborer is worthy of their hirer, but I am BROKE. I could swing the money for the supplies for the bags but not the book that told me how to make them.  So, I had to do something different.

There was only one problem.  I am not creative.  I am not a fun mom.  I am not filled with original ideas that will one day make me independently wealthy.

So, take these ideas from a non fun, non creative, poor mom and see if you have the success I did.

You need:
Box of gallon freezer bags with the zipper closure (TRUST ME.  Get the zippered ones!)
Bag of rocks or great northern beans
Bag of sea shells
Pack of small paper cups
Pack of spoons
Plastic grid sheet
Small box of crayons
Coloring book

Put the rocks, a spoon, and 2 or 3 paper cups in a bag.  Zip up.
Put the seashells, a spoon, and 2 or 3 paper cups in a bag. Zip up.
Put the plastic grids sheets, and several lengths of yarn in a bag. Zip up.
Put the box of crayons and coloring book in another bag. Zip up.

There you go. Toddler busy bags on the cheap.  Never ever get them out unless you are doing school.  The rocks and shells were the kids favorite things. I eventually had to make them play with them on the kitchen floor because my vacuum hated them.  But, they would ask for me to do school so they could play with them.

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mom said...

see you are creative!!!

hillbillywoman said...

When my daughter was small, I fixed her up a "busy bag" for when we attended church services. Inside one of my old purses, I put a small photo album of pictures of her favorite people (her family & close friends). Photos of pets or vacation trips would be good as well. I used clear tape to seal the edge of each page to keep the photos from falling out.

Also, into the bag I put various quiet (cheap) toys appropriate for her age. These could be the plastic infant keys, a small stuffed animal, those fat toddler crayons and a small pad of paper, a small toddler board book, an unbreakable mirror, etc.

The reason I thought of doing a busy bag using one of my purses is because I had noticed that while at church, a lady there would allow my daughter to prowl through her purse. I didn't want her to continue doing that, so I fixed my daughter up with her own purse. She loved it!