This activity needs a little prep before the winter recess (or spring break) begins. If you know your kids well, you can use this with any age, but I’ve always geared these tote bags towards early childhood up to about first or second grade. Again, adaptability is the key.
Each tote bag contains themed activities or a planned outing. for example, the library tote can store your finished library books until the next time you visit the library or your library tote can contain books that your kids rarely read or new books to create a library for the day in your home.
1. Library – include books that your kids haven’t seen in awhile. Add card stock, colored pencils, markers, and crayons to make bookmarks. Include journaling paper for book report, reviews, sketch paper for adding illustrations, paper for extending the story (ie. fan fiction for kids).
2. Beach – Throw in those leis from the variety of birthday parties your kids have attended. Include a bathing suit and towel for each child. Don’t forget the sunglasses and water bottle. Put in a CD of dance music and a camera for selfies. You might also want a big, wide-brimmed straw hat to keep the sun out of their eyes.
3. Get Crafty – All the things. Paper, tape, feathers, popsicle sticks, pipe cleaners, glue, chalk, yarn, string, whatever you can think of. Collect some recycling in anticipation of the week recess: toilet paper and paper towel tubes, egg cartons, tin cans (washed, of course), newspaper, magazines. Pirate themes are always fun. Toilet paper tubes make great binoculars and wind socks. Paper towel tubes make periscopes, telescopes, Olympic torches. Use your imaginations and enjoy the creative time together!
4. Dress Up – Hats, shirts, dresses, Mom’s and Dad’s shoes, neckties, scarves. Don’t forget the leftover Halloween costumes too.
5. Back to Nature – Construction paper, glue. Include paper bags to collect the nature items with. Pre-make scavenger hunt sheets where the kids can check off what they find and draw pictures or use a digital camera to take photos of the scavenged items.
6. Animal Hospital – Include a variety of stuffed animals, reusable bandages, a doctor’s kit with stethoscope and blood pressure gauge. Use washcloths as blankets. Pretend ice packs or real ice packs as long as they’re leak-proof.
7. Kids Cook – Aprons, chef’s hats, preferably kids’ sized. Cookie cutters, sprinkles, food coloring, measuring cups and spoons, bag of chocolate chips, can of frosting, box mix for cake or brownies or cookies. Box of Jello.
What tote bag activities can you add to this list? I’d love to hear your suggestions in the comments.