I discovered busy bags a little over a year ago when I put together our first few bags. The busy bags were such a hit that I then participated in a busy bag swap. Thanks to that busy bag swap, we have spent the past year happily occupied by numerous busy bag activities.
Thanks to This Old Schoolhouse’s Review Crew, I was introduced to Activity Bags — a wonderful resource for making your own busy bags and coordinating your own busy bag swap. Activity Bags offers a slew of different busy bag e-books including pre-school activities, science experiments, reading games, travel activities and an upcoming series on crafts in a bag. I chose to review Activity Bags’ Math Games In A Bag e-book ($15.00). We aren’t using a formal math curriculum this year and my kids love busy bags so I figured this would be a great resource to work in some more math in to our homeschool.
Math Games in A Bag is over 200 pages packed full of fun math themed busy bags for every level. I love products that I will be able to use for more than just one grade level and this is definitely the case with this ebook. The other really nice thing about the activities in the book is that they mostly require items you probably already have around the house. In fact, Activity Bags encourages you to make changes as needed to use things that you have on hand instead of running out and buying items specifically for the bags.
Each activity in the book includes very detailed explanations on how to make the bag and even how to make multiple bags if you are participating in a swap and you would be making multiple bags of one activity. The book includes a detailed supply list and tons of printables for your busy bags — including labels to put on the bags so you know what the game is and how to play it. This is a fantastic asset that makes your job when making the bags easier.
We put together a few different bags, but the favorite one is definitely the dot to dot busy bag! It’s probably the dry erase marker that they love, but whatever works. The directions say to print out the dot sheet and insert it in to a plastic page protector, which I didn’t have on hand. I do have a laminator (you know you’re a homeschooler when…), which would also be an option, but I wanted to try out some re-usable dry erase pockets that a friend picked up at Target for me. So we put our sheets in those so we could use what we had on hand. I just tossed the markers right in the bag and we had a brand-new math busy bag. The best part of this activity is that they can BOTH play it at the same time!
In addition to ebooks focusing on making bags, Activity Bags also offers a Coordinator Handbook, which is FREE, so that you can organize your own busy bag swap. I really believe that the best way to expand your busy bag collection is to participate in a swap, but the swaps are very popular and can be hard to get in to. This handbook helps you organize your own swap, whether it’s on-line or amongst your “real life” friends. This really is the best way to get a great collection of a variety of busy bags.
Overall, I highly recommend Activity Bags ebooks! You will find these to be great resources for your own busy bag collection at the right price.