I had high hopes for making a super cute Christmas busy bag this month…and then the holidays hit…and, well, you know how it goes. So instead, I thought you all might like to see one of Buddy’s very favorite busy bags. 🙂
I take no credit for this activity. My friend, Kate, whipped this one up for a busy bag swap I hosted last spring. I was impressed that she did all that sewing for a swap! Luckily there were only five of us so I hope it didn’t take her too terribly long to make them all.
The main skill this busy bag addresses is obviously color matching using the felt pockets and colored craft sticks, but there are lots of other skills covered as well. By including the written word, you add print awareness and early reading practice. Color words are typically considered “sight words” or words that we learn to recall quickly because we see them often rather than words that we (our children) would need to sound out. There are a few different ways I can think of that you could decide to present the written words.
–In Kate’s busy bag, she uses one craft stick for each color. One end of the craft stick is colored the color it will match with while the other end (on the same side of the craft stick) has the color word written in that color.
–You could set it up the same way Kate did but write the color words in one color (the same color…so if you’re using a black marker all the color words would be written in black ink) to make it a little more challenging.
–You could also flip the craft stick over and write the color word on the back so they can’t use (as easily) the colored end to identify the color they are looking for.
–You could even have a second set of craft sticks with the written words if you REALLY want to make sure they aren’t “cheating” by peeking at the colored end of the craft stick. Maybe I’ll do this when Buddy gets a little older…maybe.
For now, both Buddy and I really enjoy how Kate set it up. 🙂
You will need:
felt (colors of the rainbow…notice our blue one is missing…it has disappeared into the black hole we like to call Buddy’s toy box)
large craft sticks
markers (preferably permanent or paint)
Cut 2 same-sized rectangles of each color of felt and sew them together on three sides, leaving one side completely open. Color and write on your craft sticks to make a coordinating set. Voila! Finished!
Getting the craft sticks into the felt pockets is trickier than one might think for little fingers. It took Buddy a long time to figure out how to do that on his own. Fantastic fine motor practice and planning needed to coordinate opening the pocket and getting the craft stick in there. See the colored ends?
Here’s a shot with the words. Buddy doesn’t pay a whole lot of attention to them that I can tell at this point but he really likes letters so it’s nice to have the exposure, even at such a young age! It’s never too early to start. 🙂
Hope you all are keeping up with the holiday craziness!