Friday, June 15, 2012

Summer Fun Bag Part 2: Preschool basket

Hi!  I am back today to share with you what I put in my preschooler's Summer Fun basket!

We also used this on a recent road trip--both the basket and the some of the contents were PERFECT for keeping busy in the car (bonus!!)

Here is a list of items I included:
I found these great books and flashcards at the dollar store.
Cost: $3

These are some more of the "bought" items I included.  The button lacing kit and wood stick kits were just $.69 each at a local discount store.
The magnetic Go Fish game was on clearance at World Market for $3.
The plastic plate/bowl/cup was from Target at $.50 each
I made the Date with Mom and Date with Dad coupons from the idea I found on this website.
Cost: $5.90

I made these File Folder games from Dollar store flashcards.
I love the idea of File Folder games, but didn't want to shell out the money right now for something like this (although it does look very cool!)
I am notorious for waiting until the last minute to do this sort of creative thing
(a personality flaw developed in my life after kids.)
I included a pocket for the extra pieces on the front using CD envelopes I had on hand.
Cost for 3 letter-match file folder games: $1

More printables!
I loved the UP Adventure book look alike (complete with badges) from to encourage summer exploration activities.
And the Passport (like the one from the Elementary bag) is an amazing tool to help the kids while I run errands.
Cost: $0

If you are at all familiar with the idea of "Busy Bags" for toddlers and preschoolers, you should DEFINITELY look into it!  It is basically a self-contained game to help the kids practice skills--everything from fine motor to letters and numbers!  There are TONS of ideas out there and I have some pinned on my Summer Fun Pinterest Board and Kids Crafts.

I made the Clothespin Number Match (11-20)
Popsicle stick drop (letters, numbers and shapes) 
{Scroll down to see the post that inspired this activity!}

Cost for all was $1 for the clothespins+popsicle sticks.

The last idea I LOVE LOVE LOVE.  
Here is the concept: Get an old board book, paint with chalkboard paint, then let the kids go crazy drawing on it and then wiping it off.
As you can see, I added some drawing "prompts" to the book.  I will try to get some pics of more of the pages soon.  I used a silver Sharpie to draw the prompts.
I was inspired by this chalkboard book.
Cost: $3.50 for the paint.
We had the chalk (as evidenced by the torn box!)

After adding in the glowsticks and candy ($.75) 
and the $1 basket I was DONE.
Total cost: $16.15
It was $1.15 over my budget, due mainly to the extra splurge at the dollar store. 
 I wasn't expecting to find the awesome workbooks and flashcards!

If you missed the other Summer Fun bag I did in Part One, you can find it here:

I think these ideas are great for keeping the kids busy everyday (not just in the summer!)

Coming soon the Toddler Summer Fun Basket!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Summer fun bags Part One: Elementary bag

What are "Summer Fun bags?" These are bags filled with fun and educational activities for the summer months when your kids are out of school.  You can do SO MUCH with this idea.  I chose to to DIY lots of the items for the bags, but it would also be really quick and easy to fill a sand bucket with items, books, flashcards and candy from the dollar store.  My FAVORITE PART is that my kids receive these when they arrive home on their last day of school.
(Lots of excitement and fanfare!!)

Come back later this month to see the Preschool and Toddler "Summer fun" bags. (Note: these can (AND WILL!) also double as "Road trip" fun bags too!)

The first bag is for my daughter who is finishing 2nd grade.

Bag: ThirtyOne gifts
Cost: Free from hosting a party

2 New books--
1. Judy Moody (a new favorite around here)
Cost: $4.99
2. A to Z Mystery book club kit (included a free book). Looks like the kits are gone, but the printable version is here.
Cost: Free

I am sure we will be purchasing some more books as a reward for completing these:
Summer reading STAR bingo, banner, bookmarks, and printables from HowDoesShe?
Cost for both: Free

Summer Fun Passport--This is sort of like the World Showcase passports at Epcot.  Kids get a stamp or signature as we run different errands.  In the past they have gotten stamps from the postal worker, signatures from cashiers, stickers from customer service, etc.....  They enjoy collecting different things, and it makes running errands easier.  So maybe this one was more for me?  WIN-WIN!
Cost: Free

Date with Mom and Date with Dad coupons--each kid gets two.  These are simple too--a meal out together, a movie, a craft project, etc....nothing fancy: just one kid and one parent.  Sadly, that something that doesn't happen often in our family of three.
Cost: Nothing now, but maybe $10 per activity once we go DO them together.

Grade appropriate educational activity books
Cost: $5.99
A puzzle
Cost: $.99

Box of Science experiments.  These are all homemade science experiments you can do with around the house items.  I originally wanted to include the items to do each experiment in the box, (Like this!) but when I didn't have time to go chase down Borax and some other ingredients, I settled for a composition notebook with the experiments included as well as pages for her to journal about the results.  The supply lists will help her gather what she needs to do the experiment. I'm sure the little boys will enjoy this too.
I had a book from when I taught school that included several experiments.
Here are some I included:
Rock Candy
Moon Sand
Soap Clouds (I am excited about this one!)
Lava Lamp
There are literally TONS of "homemade" science experiments out there.  I included about six in her box.
Cost: $.10 composition book I bought during back to school sales in the fall
Additional $5-10 for supplies (we actually have most on hand).  Maybe less with coupons. ;-)

Then there are some candies and glowsticks (pictured above) that I got in the dollar section at Target to split among the three kids.
Cost: $.66 per child

Total cost for this SUMMER FUN BAG contents: $15.  I am not including the price of the "future" activities with each parent or the prizes.  It will vary depending on what we do AND I have coupons for most of them in my Entertainment book.

Want a quick and easy version for your kids?  Surprise them on the last day with a Summer Fun Bucket list!
There are some ideas from some of my favorite bloggers:

Summer To Do list on Eighteen25

Summer Activities Chart by The Crafting Chicks
Activity jars by the Crafting Chicks

Do you want more ideas and inspiration?
Check out my Pinterest Boards: Summer Fun and Kids crafts and don't forget to follow me there!

What about you? Do you do anything like this?