Idea List for Toddler & Preschooler Activity Bags

After my activity bag post ran recently over on The Natural Parents Network, I was inspired by others forming swaps to give it a go again, this time with my local Attachement Parenting group.  This is my first time organizing, though I’ve participated in two other swaps with folks online.  We had enough interest to break the group into two, a younger and a (just slightly) older group, and those who are able will meet at my house for the actual swap at the end of the month.

I think I know what I am going to make — mini-log blocks like we made for the girls Christmas, with paint-stirrer sticks to help with construction, and plastic bugsto play with on them.

Just picture this made out of smaller branches, all fitting in a ziplock bag...

My second backup choice, that I also love and want to make, is magnetic foam tangrams — Here’s a decription with no photos, here are a couple more links about it.  I think it would be cool to print/photocopy some picture guides to add to this as well, possibly the same size as the pieces so the kids could do them like a puzzle, with the magnets holding the pieces in place to avoid frustration.

Here are a bunch more activity bag ideas I’ve stumbled up and love — hopefully I’ll either make them or receive them via a trade or swap at some point! If you try any of them, let me know how they turn out!!!

  • Nuts, bolts and washers — just a mix of different sizes, for the kids to explore, sort, and put together.
  • Number wheel — clothespin and a cardboard circle with dots to match to numbers
  • Tangled Weaving Web — super easy, looks fun!
  • Shades of color activity — using paint chips to sort colors into a grid.  Cool!
  • Double Trouble shapes — matching combinations of foam shapes
  • Popsicle stick puzzles — make your own puzzles with any image, with craft sticks!
  • Story Blocks/Dice — OMG! Love these!  I want some to use during mealtimes, especially lunch!
  • Marble Travel Game — Brilliant! Though I fear my girls would be frustrated that the marble is stuck in there & they can’t see it or take it out!
  • Measure it! — sorting different lengths of fun ribbons into three sizes
  • Magnet Mosaics — use easily store bought round magnets to create pictures using a (printable) guide or doing it yourself (may be cost prohibative for a swap, but I am going to do it myself, as we already have these magnets!)
  • Magnetic Fishing — Easy version, cool but sewing involved version
  • Magnetic Personalities — making magnets out of photos and cut out characters (either laminated or glued on cardstock?), with heads cut off to mix and match (look half way down the page).
  • Velcro toys  (description found here, no pictures!)– cover a piece of wood with velcro, and affix velcro to small toys or objects
  • Make your own mini- race track — This one I did for a swap years ago, and never finished making one for my own kids!  Basically, I cut black canvas/heavy fabric into tracks (straights, curves, some intersections, etc) similar to a toy train track, with velcro on either side so the kids can stick them together whatever way they want.  I included enough to make a complete circle or oval, plus extras to extend or make more of a town layout.   I included a couple mini-cars.  It was really fun!  I really ought to pull out the supplies and do this for us (and blog about it, ha ha)
  • Sorting erasers (just a collection of those colorful mini-erasers, and cups/muffin tin/ice cube tray for sorting
  • Sensory balloons — looks like a fun, easy project!
  • Fine Motor games — Straw or lid dropor pipe cleaner sort
  • Button Outline Matching (or just button sorting would be fun too!)
  • Letter matching eggs — Instead of letters it could also be shapes, symbols, pictures, stickers…
  • Stringing straws and buttons — Very simple, and looks fun!
  • Craft foam bath murals— We have these already, and the girls LOVE them and it’s pretty much the only bath toy they use (for a loooooong time, if we let them).

Hooray for activity bags, and busy kids!

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