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Thursday, November 1, 2012

Activity Bags

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Where Fun and Education Fit in the Same Bag!

My girls really like hands on projects. They like to craft, cook, experiment, and act out everything. It doesn't matter how many hands on projects we do in our school they always want more. Sometimes the hardest & most time consuming part is getting everything rounded up & ready. Activity Bags has taken care of part of the problem.

Activity Bags was started when Sherri MacLean wanted to come up with a way to keep her toddler busy while she taught school to her other children. She called her friend Paula Reetz and they came up with the idea of putting preschool activities in a bag. They decided it would be easier if they had several moms work together. They would each make enough of one activity bag to share with everyone in the group. They soon had 25 moms to participate in the swap. They realized there were other moms who needed help keeping their preschoolers busy so they decided to make a book of the activities. Then decided they would also teach other moms how to coordinate a swap of their own. They now have Activity Bag eBooks for Preschool, Science, Reading, Travel, Math, and Daily Activity Journals.

We received the Science Experiments In a Bag eBook 1-3, and Math Games In a Bag. I let the girls choose which Science eBook to start with & they chose #3. We printed off all the activities for Science eBook 3 & the Math Games. It is suggested to print the science activities on different colored sheets of paper according to the type of science, but we didn't have any & were very eager to get started so we used white paper & highlighted the title of the experiment in the suggested colors. It took a while to get the bags printed and set up, but my girls wanted to help & had a great time filling the bags. Once we got the activities bags put together we stored them in a large tote.
Amber (age 11), Delaney (age 10), and Alaina (age 7) all used the activity bags. Even though it took awhile to put the bags together, it was wonderful when they were done. We decided to put our Math Activities in one end of our tote & the Science in the other. That way they would know what subject they were choosing, but they wanted it to be a surprise as to which activity it was. They would just randomly choose a bag from each end and get to work. They needed very little help from me partly because everything they needed was right there.

The girls were very excited over the science activities, but not so much over the Math games until they started playing them. They have been enjoying the math games so much more than I thought they would, and Delaney even brought some of them on vacation to get her older brother to play. Alaina thinks the games are wonderful & she decided to make up her own. It doesn't have any math or science in it, but it got her thinking about making a game. She taped pieces of paper together to draw her board on & used shaped erasers for her pieces.

Science Experiments In a Bag was written by Sherri MacLean and is recommended for K-8 grades. It is $15.00 to purchase one eBook, you can purchase eBook 1 & 2 for $27.00, or all three eBooks for $39.00.
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Science Experiments In a Bag eBook 1 contains 25 science experiments covering Biology, General Science, and Nature. On this 7 page sample you may see the complete list of experiments in a chart telling you if the experiment needs to be completed inside or out & from which science category the experiment covers. There is also a short description with all supplies listed. We learn about waterfalls, wind power, sun clocks, seeds, and more in this eBook.
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Science Experiments In a Bag eBook 2 also contains 25 experiments. They cover Chemistry, Human Body, and General Science. There is also a sample of this one with the chart, description, and supply list of each activity. In this book we get to make a big bubble, a blob, discover the senses, static electricity, and more.
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Science Experiments In a Bag eBook 3 contains 25 activities in Chemistry. We have gotten to discover microbes, oxidation, green copper, iron mining, a secret message, and more.



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Math Games In a Bag eBook 1 was written by Sherri MacLean and is recommended for elementary students and is $15.00. The math games are designed so that the child can have fun & build a positive attitude toward math. This sample lists all the games and the supplies that are needed for the math games. Some of the games cover fact families, memory math, bingo, telling time, tricksters, and more. There are a few games that were too easy for my 10 & 11 year old, but they played along with Alaina & had a good time.

Science Activities In a Bag also include instructions on coordinating an activity bag swap, but if you purchase eBook 3 or the Math games you may request a free copy. An Activity Bag Swap is where several families get together and plan on swapping activity bags. If ten families participate then each family would put together 10 bags of the same activity and then trade. This could free up a lot of preparation time & it would be like giving and receiving gifts. Participating in an Activity Bag Swap would be a lot of fun & could make putting the bags together easier.

The Activity Bags were great once they were put together because they saved so much time in our school day. We had most of the supplies that were needed already around the house. The few items we did need to purchase were very minimal cost. We plan on putting the other 2 Science activities together once we complete all of eBook 3.

Members of the TOS Review Crew also reviewed Reading Games in a Bag eBook, Travel Activities in a Binder eBook, and Preschool Activities in a Bag eBook 1 & 2. Sail over to the Crew Blog to read about them.
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Disclaimer: As a member of the TOS Review Crew I received Science Experiments In A Bag eBooks 1-3, and Math Games in a bag free of charge to use with my kids in exchange for my hones review.

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