So, this is not an original idea. I saw this online a couple weeks ago, and I cannot remember where I found it. It was a way cool blog, though, and if it was yours (or if you've got something similar to this project) let me know and I will definitely link back to you!
With that being said, yes, I found this idea and immediately fell in love. It couldn't be simpler: take a few sandwich bags, some masking tape, and some fabric, and -- voila -- you've got an educational material with endless possibilities. I read about this and then made one for our family in about 30 minutes.
The materials: masking tape and five sandwich bags. You'll also need a pair of scissors, and down the line, some scrap fabric and a sewing machine. You could also hand sew this project, but with a machine I was done with the sewing in under five minutes.
First, cut a piece of masking tape, fold it in half lengthwise, and place it on the closed end of one of the sandwich bags.
Then carefully place another bag on top of the first one, adhering it to the tape.
Repeat these steps, adding on as many bags as you would like in your book. I made a book with five bags. After this step, I also cut off all of the excess tape on the top and bottom ends of the book.
Time to take things to the sewing room (aka, my bedroom). Step one, cut a length of scrap fabric long enough to "bind" your book and quickly hem the sides.
Step two, sew your fabric right onto the plastic bags and through the masking tape. I wasn't sure how this step was going to go, but it was pretty quick and easy.
Here's a close-up of the binding. I just left the ends raw, since I figured that this book wouldn't last terribly long. We might use this several times and then one of the bags might tear and I'll have to make another, so I didn't want to put too much time into this.
Okay, so how does it work?
My first idea was to do a color finding activity since Daniel is learning to identify colors right now. I tore off scraps of construction paper and put one color in each bag. I ended up with blue, white, black, red, and orange (in no particular order).
Then I had the kids look around the playroom and their bedrooms for toys or other small objects that were the same color as the scraps of paper already in the book.
Daniel liked this activity for about two minutes. But Natalie loved this and was all over it. She was the one to find most of the toys. I guess because she's older? Almost two-year-olds probably don't have very long attention spans.
Anyway, here's what we came up with. The book got very bulky after it was all filled up:
Blue and white:
And red and orange:
I didn't take a picture of the black bag, but Natalie put a toy truck in there -- because of the tires.
I'd say this was a successful project. It didn't take long to complete, and Natalie totally enjoyed carrying it around and putting things in each bag. I want to try it again with Daniel, maybe at a different time of day, and see if I can get him more interested, perhaps looking at shapes as well as colors. And with Natalie, I might try this activity with letters or numbers.
What ideas have you guys come up with to teach readiness skills to your kiddos?
Thanks for reading!