Skill bags contain projects that help children learn and practice shapes, numbers, the alphabet, sorting, hand coordination, patterning etc. They can be used in the classroom and/or taken home by students so they can work with their families on the projects. These projects can be added to a literacy bag or put in a separate bag of their own. Check out our Pinterest site for ideas or do a search for “busy bags” or check out the many home schooling and mommy blogs.
Bags can be made drawstring style from durable fabric, size depending on the project inside. Please add a laminated label (can use clear contact paper) around the drawstring with the name of the bag (play doh, alphabet, matching, etc.) and the contents (3 play doh, 1 playmat, roller, etc.) If instructions are needed add them to the bag laminated or in a clear plastic sleeve.
If your bag contains a puzzle or other activity with small pieces make a smaller bag for them and add a label listing contents on the drawstring.
If you want to do a project but not the bag send along and a bag will be provided by some of our sewers. Contact Carol here for the address to send your learning bags. We’re hoping to have these bags and the craft bags finished by June 1 so everything is ready to go when classes resume in August.
Here are some skill bags I made using my sewing machine but you could knit, crochet or use paper, felt, etc. as well. I will add the laminated label and directions to each bag before mailing. These projects were “kid tested” on my 2 1/2 and 4 year old grandsons and they gave them a thumbs up! I plan on adding this page or a facsimile to all bags as a reference for children and parents.
For learning shapes I used this pattern to make a matching game. Fine motor skills are used as pieces are buttoned on (Velcro is easier for ages 3-5) and they learn to identify colors and pattern sequencing too.
For simple memory games I made two identical squares from printed fabrics and also different shapes and colors for teaching memory, colors and recall.
For learning to distinguish size and number sequencing I made 10 squares, each one being 1 inch larger and numbered them from 1-10 starting with the smallest with the color of each square on the back. This activity can be used to learn numbers, colors, size difference, etc.
You can also just use squares of different sizes and colors.
Another simple bag was made using 10 different balls (could be 10 of any item) to which I will add some simple addition and subtraction problems. Kids can also have fun playing with the balls developing their fine motor skills.
To help learn the alphabet I made an activity using two sets of letters capital and small. Kids can arrange letters in alphabetical order grouping them by letter size or play memory games by having a letter or letters removed, sing alphabet songs and play matching games with the colored letters.
I also made I spy books using fabric scraps. They can practice sight recognition hunting for certain items such as a green frog , 2 dogs, etc.
Flannel or felt boards are great for kids, I made one using an old picture frame. Cut out story characters from felt and have kids retell the story using the characters. Use this talk to help you design the felt pieces. This is a good way to measure comprehension and creativity as they can embellish the story or make up a new one.
I made some play doh bags as seen in this blog and provided a plastic sheet, cookie cutters, a roller and a plastic knife. You can laminate “play doh” fun sheets and add to the bag for plenty of learning activities.
Currently I’m making an activity using different colored blocks numbered 1-12 to help learn colors and numbers. This bag is in the beginning phase so will probably add some number cards and other items.
All of these projects were done using mostly scraps from my scrap bag. Most of these activities can also be purchased at any discount store if you’re a non-crafter.
We’ll be working on the education bags until completed (hopefully by June) so there’s still plenty of time to contribute to this important project. We’ve had one generous donor volunteer to complete 20 craft bags! To all of you contributing to this project we say Thank You! We’ll be starting another project for February so check back soon.