This months Busy Bag Blog Hop theme is Kindergarten Prep Busy Bags. The aim is to provide parents and teachers a way to help preschoolers get ready for the first day a big school. Now I know that Adam isn’t moving up to big school any time soon – in fact he only goes to Pre-school two mornings a week. However, the great thing about Busy Bags are that they can be adapted as your child gets older. We created a sequencing Mr Men Shapes Busy Bag which can be changed to suit Adam’s developing knowledge.
My Reception class always enjoyed playing with Shape Links, similiar to these, so I was intrigued to see if Adam would enjoy them too.
In a packet of Shape Links you get three different shapes – square, circle and triangle – in four bright colours. There are a total of 100 shapes which can link together. They are ideal for sorting, counting, colour recognition and to develop fine motor skills. I wanted Adam to practise shape recognition and introduce him to sequencing.
Adam has started to show an interest in Mr Men and loves to look at the different characters. On a recent shopping trip he spotted a Mr Men tin which I knew would be ideal for a busy bag. Our Shape Links reminded me of a few Mr Men characters – the yellow circled looked like Mr Happy, the red square like Mr Strong and the blue triangle like Mr Rush. So we decided to create a Mr Men Shapes Busy Bag.
My idea had been to photograph each of the Shape Links, make sequencing cards on the computer and print them out. However, technology failed me so I had to resort to pencil and paper. On strips of card I used the shapes as a template to draw around and created a variety of sequencing cards based on shapes and colours.
I also wanted a way that Adam could create his own Mr Men. I cut some blue felt to fit inside the Mr Men tin and glued googly eyes to it. Now Adam could add the shapes to the felt and make up his own characters. To muffle the sound of the Shape Links in the metal tin I placed more blue felt in the base of the tin. Our Mr Men shapes busy bag was complete.
Adam loved the busy bag from the moment he saw it. First we went through the shapes and told me the colour and shape of each item – yes all 100 of them! I then demonstrated how Adam could use the sequencing cards.
He loved finding each shape and placing it directly on top of the and hand drawn shape.
As Adam was so occupied with the sequencing cards it took him a little while before he noticed the googly eyes. Without showing him what to do Adam placed a shape on top of a pair of eyes. He repeated the process until all the eyes and a shape around them. The second he finished Adam shouted “again”, took all the shapes off and started again. This activity kept him busy for ages.
The Mr Men busy bag has already been used several times and helped to occupy Adam whilst waiting at the doctors. It is a fantastic activity to promote independent play and introduce or reinforce mathematical concepts. For older children the activity can be extended by getting them to link up the shapes and continue the repeating pattern. They could even create their own sequencing cards.
* Shape Links similiar to these
* Mr Men tin
* Strips of card
* Pencil crayons and a thin black felt tip pen
* Blue felt
* Super glue
FROM LEFT TO RIGHT:
Free Alphabet Clip Cards // Playdough to Plato
Word Family Sort // Coffee Cups and Crayons
Printable Time Telling Game // Easy Peasy and Fun
Story Circles // Powerful Mothering
Magnetic Name Trace // Teach Me Mommy
Sight Word Memory Game // Frogs Snails and Puppy Dog Tails
Tactile Name Writing Practice // Preschool Inspirations
3D Shape Identification // Mommy Needs a Coffee Break
Touch and Feel ABC Cards // The Pleasantest Thing
Printable Dry Erase Morning Routine Busy Bag // Lalymom
Sequencing Mr. Men Shapes Busy Bag // Adventures of Adam
Alphabet Matching Puzzles // Itsy Bitsy Fun
Lowercase Letter Formation with Baked Cotton Balls // Sugar Aunts
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