"I love you and want for you all things that make you happiest; and I guess you, not I, are the one who knows best what those things are."

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Thoughts On Activity Bags

Thoughts in 3 words: Best Idea Ever!  The activity bags worked out great!  We were able to provide the boys with a couple items at a time out of the bags as we drove.  Each bags provided around an hour of entertainment without the movie.  In fact, we only stuck the movies in about half the time – the other half we really didn’t need them and there’s no reason for the boys to zone out to the TV if they can do something that requires some brain waves.

Here’s the original post to the Activity Bags so you can check out the pictures and contents in detail.  Let’s get to the highlights though. 

Activity Bag #1 –

  • The small Magnadoodles were a hit.  Both boys enjoyed coloring and erasing pictures and since we had 2 of them there was no squabbling over the toy.
  • John loved pounding the golf tees into the playdough with his toy hammer.  (For some reason John wouldn’t pull the tees out of the dough though so I had to keep reaching back and yanking them out for him.) 
  • The colored clothespin activity was a success and John proudly exclaimed every time he was all done.  The only thing I would have changed is that I probably would have written the colors on the back of cards so that we could have worked on sight words too.
  • Nathan enjoyed the toy phone – but as you’ll see throughout this post – Nathan enjoys anything have makes noise when you press a button.

Activity Bag #2

  • The LeapFrog Fridge Phonics was a loaner item from John’s speech therapist.  Both boys played with this incessantly.  As long as you can handle the repetitiveness of the jingle it sings every time you put a letter in it – you’ll be fine. “Every letter makes a sound…the A says Aaahhh”
  • John spent quite a bit of time flipping through his Tonka Truck book from the library and playing with his toy trucks at the same time.
  • We actually stuck another kid-friendly camera in the bag right before we left and the boys spent at least 30 minutes “taking pictures” of each other, cars, trees, mom and dad, and who knows what else.
  • The Lap Book was a success – but John always likes playing with it.

Activity Bag #3

  • In the interest of full disclosure – we didn’t even touch this bag.

Activity Bag #4

  • We got to this bag in the last hour of our drive home…so we only played with a few of the items. That being said – the playdough finger puppets were a wise investment from Target.  Both boys thought they were great.  John wanted to make his own finger puppets but wasn’t coordinated enough to do it yet. 
  • Nathan didn’t really enjoy the toy remote much so that one didn’t make it back into an activity bag for the 6-hour drive to Lake Geneva.

Activity Bag #5

  • John played with the transportation themed “I Spy” bottle for a while on his own.  I hadn’t glued the lid on though so I found myself constantly worried that he’d open the bottle and I’d have beans from here to who knows where.  In reality – John never even tried to open the bottle.
  • The Disney Storybook CD was nice and we listened to it, but the boys couldn’t grasp the idea of following along so it was more like kid-friendly background noise.
  • Toy keys were a great success as long as Nathan didn’t throw them around…
  • And John did color one picture in his Mickey Mouse coloring book – although he’s never been much into coloring.

Activity Bag #6

  • Another bag that went untouched on the trip with the exception of the electronic storybook.  When the toy remote was failing I grabbed this as a back-up.

So there you have it – a simple recap of our activity bags.  The boys did great on the trip! But the pictures below probably tell the greatest truth…

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New  tractors Mom & Dad bought on the trip make little boys smile

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When all else fails – get Taggie out & take a break to suck your thumb

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The best way to entertain little ones on a road trip:

Stop the car, get out, and PLAY!

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