Today, myself and Nicolette from Powerful Mothering are “swapping” our two ideas for keeping two year olds occupied.
Our Busy Bag is based on the book by Claire Freedman called “Aliens Love Underpants.” For a long time it has been Adam’s favourite book and I have lost count how many times it has been read. It is thanks to this book that Adam knows his colours.
Some time ago I spotted a space themed suitcase style box which immediately made me think of ‘Aliens Love Underpants’.
I bought it in the hope that one day I would use it for a Busy Bag activity so when I heard about the Virtual Busy Bag Exchange I knew it was perfect timing.
I wanted to create a Busy Bag where Adam could create his own alien and where he could hang up the various underpants mentioned in the story. Using the felt left over from our DIY Felt Board, I created two boards.
For the first board I cut out recycled cardboard and stuck blue felt to it. This would be the backdrop for Adam to create his own alien. I cut out various shapes of the felt to make a green and an orange alien. I made various body parts which could be used for either alien and created two varieties of underpants – red Y-fronts and spotted bloomers, as mentioned in the story. I stitched on the detail instead of using glue.
For the second board I repeated the process but also glued on a washing line. I glued small pegs to the washing line, although I am not convinced they will last long in the hands of a 2 year old. I looked through the story to find what underpants were mentioned. So we have “Mum’s pink frilly knickers,” “Grandpa’s woolly long-johns” and underpants to fit the page: “They like them red, they like them green or orange like satsumas. But best of all they love the sight of Granny’s spotted bloomers.”
Adam couldn’t get over that he could make the aliens he knows and loves. He kept pointing to the book and shout his version of the word “alien” and then point at the felt board and say “alien.” It will take time before he fully understands the activity but that will come with repetition and time.
There are several skills that are developed through the activity. Not only is Adam practising his colours, ordering objects and using descriptive language but he is practising body parts and extending his love of stories.
Best of all, the little suitcase holds the hardback versions of ‘Aliens Love Underpants’ and ‘Aliens In Underpants Save The World’ as well as the two felt boards and the felt pieces. It is perfect for when we are on the go.