Friday, February 10, 2012

Busy Bags AKA Quiet Time Bags

Since I'm fairly certain that Four intends to give up his nap by summer (because...well, he's freaking brilliant and far to smart for day time sleep, DUH!) I'm trying to prepare several bags that I can swap out and rotate through for he, and Three to use during "quiet time." Currently, Three has quiet time when Four sleeps...and honestly, most days it consists of watching Netflix, or playing Wii. I LOATHE this reality, but most days I'm a.) exhausted because Four likes to wake when the first number on my clock is 5 or below b.) exhausted because we've been running all morning/week and I just want an hour or two of QUIET c.) helping One and/or Two with their assignments. Undertaking this project will eliminate this reality...and I like it.

If I get my stuff together, I can get started pretty quickly. I picked 20 activities to start, and only have 3 things to buy to be able to put it all together. Yeah, I have that much stuff lying around my house. Don't judge.

My list:

  1. Color Wonder books...because no way in H-E-Double Hockey Sticks will I be giving Four "real" markers during unsupervised quiet time.
  2. Beads and pipe cleaners. I'll use the big beads for Four, and the small pony beads for 3. Pipe cleaners work better in our house than laces. I go with it.
  3. Stickers/crayons/paper. The crayons are really a maybe.
  4. Hanging Felt Clothes on a clothesline. (Cut out clothing shapes from felt, string up a clothesline between a couple chairs, give them some clothespins...done.)
  5. Pom-Pom transfer. Use either a big spoon (Four) or tongs (Three...maybe Four, his fine motor skills almost match those of his brother) to transfer poms from one bowl to another.
  6. Pom-Pom push. Push poms through a hole cut into a lid of a container (raisin/crunchies type container.)
  7. Water painting pages. I'm not sure how to describe these...I'll try to get a picture for you. I found them at Michaels, and Dollar General ($1 both places.) It's a picture like a coloring book. At the bottom of the page there is a panel of water colors. Give the kids some cotton swabs, and a cup of water and they dip and paint. It's self contained, easy, and non-messy. Win in triplicate form.
  8. Rocks in a bottle. Put the small decorative stones you can buy at $Tree into a plastic bottle, shake them out and start again. Not so quiet necessarily, but busy, yes.
  9. Clip matching colored paper clips to laminated construction paper pieces. Possibly more for Three than Four. I can see Four just throwing the clips around.
  10. Peg Picture making with this toy.
  11. Sorting pasta. We have different shaped pasta, and different colored pasta. Sort away boys, sort away!
  12. Memory Matching Game
  13. Matching Puzzles (items that go together, rhyming words, animal babies...those are the 3 I know we have.)
  14. Popsicle Stick Puzzles (have you seen these??? Genius, someone was a genius.)
  15. Velcro Dots/Popsicle stick building set (Again, with the genius. God Bless the Interwebs.)
  16. Building Blocks (just our general wooden ones.)
  17. ABC Match. Lay out the alphabet magnets and take a picture of them against a white background, then print it. Put it on a cookie sheet during quiet time, and have them match the magnet to the picture.
  18. Collage Bag--cut out random pictures from magazines/newspaper/shopping circulars and throw in a piece of paper and a glue stick.
  19. Dress-Up Joey (it's a large wooden/magnetic dress up doll.)
  20. Shades of color (scroll down, it's a few activities down) I've been wanting to make this activity for ALL OF ETERNITY. Now, I'm going to do it.
Bonus: We have a magnetic set that I don't let them play with very often (which makes it SPPPPPECIAL) and I vow to let them play with it during quiet time occasionally.

I set up a Pinterest board about it and everything. So, you know, I'm serious.

I need to buy: velcro dots, felt sheets, and some of those decorative stones.

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