Let’s face it-homework stinks. Kids hate it and teachers hate creating it and finding creative ways to get children to complete it on time. Long, paper and pencil homework is not 100 % productive for Pre-K and Kindergarten children. They learn by playing and they have fun by playing-not being tortured with writing and sitting for long periods of time. So, what to do, what to do, then? Children need to be active-and not necessarily with a paper and pencil. Well, some brilliant moms and teachers must have been pondering similar ideas and dilemmas. The problem has productively been solved with the Busy Bag, Travel kit, Theme Bag-whatever you call it! It is a bag/box/container that is filled with fun stuff and it keeps a child engaged for more than five minutes. I am on a mission to create a learning kit, in comparison to the ideas that I discover. My goal is to make a kit based on what a child is currently learning about in my classroom. So, because I know that in reality-these Take Home Kits are not my own brilliant original idea, I am setting off on my own journey to discover what other teachers and moms out there have already created.
To begin finding inspirations, I begin with Pinterest (of course!) Hmmm….so…..what will my Take Home Kits look like? Maybe, it will look like these that follow, perhaps????
Spider Learning Bag – I just love the tea set and stuffed animals that are here to encourage a child to act out the story. It was created by Ms. Annie @ kindergarten at heart. I just love her learning bags! http://kindergartenatheart.blogspot.com/search/label/Take-Home%20Bags
Toddler Busy Bag – I love how @ The Princess and the Tot, this super mom created this bag full of colored paper clips and paint sample cards. This is a fun way to color sort. The bag is just an inexpensive pencil holder zipper pouch! http://theprincessandthetot.blogspot.com/2011/07/toddler-busy-bags.html
Toddler Learning Baskets – Lindsay over @ Passionate Homemaking created a list of supplies and activities for toddler bags. There are not many visuals of what the kit looks like, but they are so geniusly simple, that I am sure that you can imagine them, just as I did! http://www.passionatehomemaking.com/2011/09/simple-toddler-learning-activities.html
Camp Bag – Victoria @ one-crafty-momma is so crafty with this idea! This would be a kit that could not be reused as often. But I think it is one worth noting here, because it is just so darn clever. It also looks like a lot of fun to make. The child is learning while making each item, as well as the bag! (She actually made this as a birthday party bag-but I just can’t help to see the educational side of it!) http://one-crafty-momma.blogspot.com/2011/05/camping-birthday-party.html#comment-form
Bean Learning Bag – Look carefully-these beans have sight words written on them! This cool idea from Melissa @ Chasing Cheerios is seriously smart! http://chasingcheerios.blogspot.com/2012/04/kindergarten-activity-bagsight-words.html
Retail Learning Kit – And-if you don’t have the time to make a kit, then you can buy one and have it shipped and delivered to you!. Jessica Kim created her own business with these amazing BabbaBoxes. How smart she is! She creates kits and subscriptions for parents to order kits per month or year. http://www.babbaco.com/
Ok-now I have been inspired. I am ready to begin planning the contents for my Take Home Learning Kits. My goal is to incorporate learning and educational stimulation with the activities provided in the Kit. I want my students to have fun, enjoy thinking and using art, as well as be challenged with Math and Language tasks. I also want my kits to contain a real book, puzzle, art activity, technology element, drama task and incorporate collaboration with a parent. I am so excited. My journey begins.