Activity Bags {TOS review}

I was first introduced to Activity Bags about five years ago by another mom. The idea was unique and the concept of swapping prepared bags of fun with a group of other moms sounded like a great way to keep periods of boredom from creeping into the day. I never followed through on the swap and this time around, I wasn’t going to allow the opportunity to slip away a second time.

Activity Bags are the creation of Paula and Sherri MacLean, two homeschool moms who originally came up with the idea as a solution to figuring out a way to keep their younger children entertained while teaching their older children. They wanted the activities to not only be fun, but educational.

The concept is simple. The activity/idea is presented along with all of the supplies required to complete the activity that you store in a Ziploc storage bag. Instead of making one of these bags, you will prepare one for each swap participant. As you are doing the same, other participants in the swap are preparing bags of supplies according to the activity they have been assigned to prepare. After this is done, all swap members meet and swap the bags they prepared. The more participants, the more variety of activities you will have at the end of the swap. Did you get all of that?

If not (but I hope you did), then consider this, the terrific thing about this product is that the activities may be completed without conducting a swap. That is what we did. We had one mom; me; and three children, River, Lily and Canyon who participated and we still had fun with our small group.

Currently, there are 15 products available from Activity Bags. You may take a peek to see what other products will be coming soon. The e-books don’t allow any room for your children to grow bored. Each e-book contains a large selection and a variety of activity examples to choose from. The age range for the activity bags that you prepare varies, but goes from about kindergarten to the eighth grades.

We had the opportunity to review Math Games in a Bag e-book, Science Experiments in a Bag e-book one, Science Experiments in a Bag e-book two and Science Experiments in a Bag e-book three.

Math Games in a Bag has 33 games like How many Dots? where a child rolls the dice and adds the dots he has rolled. Tick Math Toe is another games played similar to Tic Tac Toe, but you use numbers to play. Children can also practice shape and number recognition, addition and subtraction, multiplication games and more.
Science Experiments in a Bag e-book 1 (biology, general science and nature) gives children a chance to perform a variety of experiments like learning how plants absorb water, forcing a spider to spin a web in front of your eyes, measuring snowfall and rainfall and more.

There is a list in the science e-books that tell you where activities are best conducted – indoor/outdoor experiments (some that go boom).

Experiments in a Bag e-book 2 (chemistry human body and science and general science) allow children to make bubbles, learn about the parts of an eye and their functions, study sensitivity areas on your body and more. Experiments in a Bag e-book 3 (chemistry) give children a chance to grow crystals in the sun, make your own butter, use salt to prevent food spoilage and more. Each science e-book has 25 activities/experiments.

A helpful section in each e-book is the at-a-glance section. The activities are listed in alphabetical order, with a description and a listing of general supplies you will need for the activity. I was able to look through this section and quickly pinpoint activities we wanted to do. It was also nice to have an idea of what supplies would be required so I knew if it was something we could do at that time or would have to come back to later after purchasing supplies.

There is also a section that tells you the amount of supplies you need if you decide to do a swap, which requires preparing multiple activity bags. Although some activities require printing (a lot of you’re conducting a swap), all required reproducibles are included in the e-books.

MY THOUGHTS
Although Activity Bags was created to use in a swap experience, I think the long list of activities in each e-book would be a useful product for any mom (homechool or not) because the activities are easy to put together, can be stored for later use and allow a child the opportunity to take a bag (depending upon his age) and entertain himself for some time giving mom a chance to complete other tasks.

Are you still not sure, then get yourself a free activity sampler just by filling out this survey.

Availability
You may purchase the e-books individually ($15) or as bundles (prices vary), mixing and matching as available.

You can read more reviews of this item by fellow crew members on The Homeschool Crew Blog.


Disclaimer: The product featured in this review was provided to me in exchange for an honest review by the manufacturer or representing PR agency as a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew. The opinions expressed are my own.
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