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A Heart For Home: Preschool Activities in a Bag ~ Review & GIVEAWAY {closed}

Monday, April 27, 2009

Preschool Activities in a Bag ~ Review & GIVEAWAY {closed}

It seems like there has been a lot of buzz recently about quiet time bins and activities, and deservedly so. As parents of a toddler and an infant, we know how difficult it can be to find activities that young children can complete independently. It becomes even harder if you desire for your children to be learning while completing an activity that they enjoy.

We've been searching online for fun and educational activities that our daughter could complete on her own. However, we haven't been able to find more than a handful of high quality ideas.

Then we discovered Preschool Activities in a Bag. We were drawn in by their slogan, "Where fun and education fit in the same bag." Preschool Activites in a Bag was developed by Paula Reetz (mom of 7) and Sherri MacLean (mom of 4), two homeschooling moms who were looking for ways to keep their preschoolers occupied and learning while they worked with their older children. They began brainstorming ideas and have now written two books full of activities (34 & 33 activities) that will entertain and keep preschoolers learning. Each activity fits inside of a gallon, zippered freezer bag. The activities also cost, on average, about a dollar to assemble.

In their books, Paula and Sherri also give all the information you need to organize a swap with other preschool moms. The basic idea of these swaps is that each participant puts together identical activities for all the participants. Then when you meet, everyone exchanges activities and you end up with a number of different activites for your preschooler.

To give you a better idea of what the activities are like, we're going to walk you through one activity. Make sure you read all the way to the bottom to find out how you can win a copy of Preschool Activities in a Bag 1 or Preschool Activities in a Bag 2. We will also provide you with ordering information if you want to go ahead a purchase a copy now. (View the Table of Contents of Book 1 and Book 2.)


GRID MATCHING

This activity develops matching skills.

Supplies needed:

~1 gallon plastic freezer bag with sliding "zipper"
~Variety of foam shapes (purchased or cut out)
~Copy of the grid on cardstock
~Sheet protector
~Label for the front of the activity bag
~Wide, Clear Packaging tape
~Tacky glue

*Since the Activities in a Bag are intended for ages 3 and up, we modified this activity a little for our (almost) 2 year old by reducing the number of foam shapes from 20 to 9. The supplies and directions are for the activity as originally written, but the photos show the activity as we made it for our daughter. We also decided to just use basic colors and basic shapes so we could also work on these concepts.

1. Sort out or make 2 identical sets of 20 different foam shapes. (9 in our case)




2. Glue one set of foam shapes onto the cardstock grid. When the glue is dry, place the grid into a sheet protector, trim off the flap with the hole and cut 1/2" off the top so it'll fit in the bag easily. We also folded the wide packaging tape over the top of the page protector so that Emahry can't remove the grid.




3. Make the label for the activity (example is included in the book).
Attach the label to the top front of the bag with wide, clear packaging tape.


4. Place the grid (inside the sheet protector) and the matching loose foam shapes inside the bag.
Completing the Activity:
~Place the grid on the table or floor and match the loose foam shapes to the ones on the grid.


You can purchase Book 1 or Book 2 for $21.95 (hard copy) or $15.00 (eBook). You can also purchase both books in the Preschool Activities in a Bag Bundle for $37.95 (hard copy) or $27.00 (eBook). Be sure to check out Activity Bags' Science Experiments in a Bag, Daily Activity Journal 1, and Daily Activity Journal 2.

If you make a purchase, please let Paula and Sherri know that you found out about their products here at A Heart for Home.

Now for the Giveaway!

Activities in a Bag has generously offered 2 of our readers a Preschool Activities in a Bag book (or eBook). One reader will win Preschool Activities in a Bag 1 and another will win Preschool Activities in a Bag 2. Both of these books have all the information you'll need to organize a swap or make numerous activities for your own little ones. (Ebook option open to International Entries)

To Enter This Giveaway:

1. Head over to Activities in a Bag and browse through the shop. Then come back here and leave a comment telling us why you'd like to win one of their Preschool Activities in a Bag books. If there's a specific one you prefer, please let us know and we'll try to accomidate you.

2. Gain an additional entry by placing our button on your blog (include the link in your comment). ~Simply copy the code under the button and paste it into the text box for an Html Gadget on your blog's layout.

3. Subscribe to A Heart For Home (let us know if you've already subscribed).

4. Follow Our Blog (let us know if you already follow).

5. Post about and link to this giveaway on your blog or tweet about this giveaway (leave us the link in your comment).

Please leave a separate comment for each entry!
That's one with the reason you'd like to win one of the Preschool Activities in a bag books, one telling us our button is on your blog (with the link), one telling us you've subscribed, one telling us you've signed up to follow our blog, & one with the link to your blog's advertisement or tweet of this giveaway.

The giveaway will end Monday, May 11th, at 12 Midnight EST. We will pick the winner through random generator. Make sure you leave a way for us to contact you.



Head over to Heavenly Homemakers for more Springtime Giveaways.
This post contributed to: Frugal Friday

Labels: , ,

92 Comments:

Blogger Tracey said...

What neat products! I would appreciate either one of the preschool activity bags. My girls are a little older, but I would share with my nephew - these products would be perfect for him!

April 27, 2009 at 10:01 AM  
Blogger Sarah said...

I am a home preschool teacher to my son! I would love either of the preschool books.

April 27, 2009 at 11:12 AM  
Blogger The Woodall family said...

These products are wonderful and kuddos to these smart ladies who created them! I love when moms market their great ideas! I would love to win these to use with my 3 preschool age kids!:) Thanks for the great give-away!

April 27, 2009 at 11:24 AM  
Blogger The Woodall family said...

I am now following you! :)

April 27, 2009 at 11:25 AM  
Blogger Ryan, Corrie, and Max said...

These look INCREDIBLE!! I'm going to have 2 little ones very close in a age, and I can only imagine how much easier one of these books would make my life!

April 27, 2009 at 11:28 AM  
Blogger Naturally Frugal Mom said...

I would LOVE either of these books!! I have a 4 yr old, 1.5 yr old and baby #4 on the way. I also homeschool my up and coming 5th grader so this would be an answer to prayer in keeping my preschooler busy!! Great Giveaway!!!!

April 27, 2009 at 11:30 AM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

I was looking at these recently. It looks like a great way to keep my two little ones occupied while doing individual work with my older. Thanks for the giveaway!

yngdot at gmail dot com

April 27, 2009 at 11:30 AM  
Blogger Naturally Frugal Mom said...

Added your button to my blog!

April 27, 2009 at 11:33 AM  
Blogger Naturally Frugal Mom said...

Following you!!

April 27, 2009 at 11:34 AM  
Blogger Naturally Frugal Mom said...

Subscribed as a reader =} Great blog BTW!

April 27, 2009 at 11:36 AM  
Blogger Mama Hen said...

I love this idea. I had just told my husband I was going to start doing a little "school" with my 2 1/2 year old so we could have some one on one time each day. I would love either preschool bag, and I am really interested in the journaling books for my older kids. I am going to go back and look at them tonight after everyone is in bed.

April 27, 2009 at 12:30 PM  
Blogger Mama Hen said...

I am a follower also.
clarksrfun(at)gmail(dot)com

April 27, 2009 at 12:31 PM  
Blogger Mama Hen said...

I added your button to my blog.

April 27, 2009 at 12:34 PM  
Blogger Mama Hen said...

I became a subscriber.

April 27, 2009 at 12:35 PM  
Blogger Mama Hen said...

I blogged about this giveaway on my blog.

April 27, 2009 at 12:42 PM  
Blogger Christy said...

I have a 3yr and a 1 yr old that would love these activities! Count me in! christy.vw @ gmail

April 27, 2009 at 12:48 PM  
Blogger Carrie said...

I have a 5 year old son and I am homeschooling him. I would love to have either one of the preschool bags. Thanks for offering a great giveaway!!

April 27, 2009 at 1:37 PM  
Blogger Carrie said...

I also became a follower of your blog!!

April 27, 2009 at 1:37 PM  
Blogger Kristin said...

I'm a follower. :-)

April 27, 2009 at 1:41 PM  
Blogger Andy and Jennifer said...

I would love either bag... My little ones are 4, 3, and 1 (with a baby soon to come?!), and we do "school" together. I'd love some more hands-on, independent activities for them!

April 27, 2009 at 2:57 PM  
Blogger Jamie Harper said...

I would love either of the books! I have a 3 year old and a soon to be 2 year old, and hoping for a 3rd.

Thanks!

April 27, 2009 at 3:05 PM  
Blogger Leigh said...

Oh my goodness, these are fabulous! I have 2 little ones, and I'm always looking for something for them to work on while I make dinner or work with one or the other. Thanks!

April 27, 2009 at 4:09 PM  
Blogger Jeanette said...

I am a home schooling mom to 5 little boys! My oldest is 7 and my youngest is 2 weeks old!! :) I would absolutely love either of these books. They would GREATLY benefit me right now since I have two preschoolers and two very young learners and one that will be a preschooler before we know it!! Thank you so much for posting this giveaway!!

April 27, 2009 at 5:16 PM  
Blogger Jeanette said...

I put your button on my blog - http://aycockj.blogspot.com/

April 27, 2009 at 5:17 PM  
Blogger Jeanette said...

I am now a very excited follower of your blog!! I learned about it from MammaHen!! http://aycockj.blogspot.com/

April 27, 2009 at 5:18 PM  
Blogger Jeanette said...

I subscribed to your blog!

April 27, 2009 at 5:18 PM  
Blogger Jeanette said...

I just put up a post about the giveaway on my blog! http://aycockj.blogspot.com/

April 27, 2009 at 5:19 PM  
Blogger MammaMia said...

These look like wonderful teaching books! It would be great to have either of these!

April 27, 2009 at 5:56 PM  
Blogger sunnymum said...

I'd love to win because I'm always searching for new ideas for activities for my curious preschooler. I love the idea of creating an activity bag swap with the other moms in our playgroup. Thanks!

April 27, 2009 at 6:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This would be great for my girls! We are always looking for more easy activities we can do around here. I love that they seem so easy, simple, and cheap to make, but are still fun.
Thanks!
thegood3 at gmail dot com

April 27, 2009 at 9:55 PM  
Blogger smac said...

I'm a follower! Thanks!

April 27, 2009 at 9:55 PM  
Blogger Jenn @ Beautiful Calling said...

I have a 2 year old, I baby sit a 2 year old, I have an 8 month old and am hoping to have another one in the next year or so. I'm thankful for the internet and the ideas that you can find on blogs such as yours but it sure would be handy to have a book of educational ideas!!

April 27, 2009 at 10:26 PM  
Blogger Jenn @ Beautiful Calling said...

I've subscribed with Google Reader.

Thanks for the chance to win!

April 27, 2009 at 10:28 PM  
Blogger Lenetta said...

I would LOVE either of these for my 2-year-old daughter. Awesome giveaway - thanks for the chance!

nettacow at gmail dot com

April 27, 2009 at 10:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

These activities would be wonderful for my younger two while I homeschool my older two. Thanks!
Amber
sumner@vtc.net

April 27, 2009 at 11:50 PM  
Blogger Organized Nutrition said...

What a great idea... I will soon be home with just my youngest when school starts up again... it would be great to have an idea of how to keep her busy!THANKS!

April 28, 2009 at 8:30 AM  
Anonymous Alice said...

These look great. I love that they would keep my little one occupied and learning something.

April 28, 2009 at 1:07 PM  
Blogger rebecca said...

I would love to have either of the books, but I think I'm partial to book one. My son is not quite ready for this yet at one, but hopefully soon! It would be nice to have things to occupy him when we have another baby or during church!

gitrecca at gmail dot com

April 28, 2009 at 6:34 PM  
Blogger paula h said...

I want to win because I need some ideas on how to keep my son busy while I'm homeschooling my older kids. It would be great to also get some ideas for "quiet toys" suitable for church.

hafner611{AT}gmail{DOT}com

April 28, 2009 at 10:30 PM  
Blogger paula h said...

Subscribed through Google reader

April 28, 2009 at 10:31 PM  
Blogger paula h said...

Following

April 28, 2009 at 10:31 PM  
Blogger Leslie S. said...

I would love this fo my son.I want him to have a great headstart in learning and want to start schooling him next yea when I do start homeschooling the other 3. Thanks!

April 29, 2009 at 1:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for letting us know about these products! They look like a great idea and would be helpful for our 3 year old as I'm homeschooling the older ones.
boys-r-us4 at hotmail dot com

April 29, 2009 at 10:14 AM  
Blogger Aiming Our Arrows said...

Wow, this would be so helpful for me. I have 3 older children and a busy 3 yr old who would love to have things to do while we are schooling.
Thanks,
~Jill

April 29, 2009 at 2:35 PM  
Blogger Nicole M. said...

I would love to have a copy! I want a variety of fun and educational activities for my lil girl!

April 29, 2009 at 3:52 PM  
Blogger Miranda said...

To work with my daughter at home

April 29, 2009 at 4:39 PM  
Blogger Miranda said...

To work with my daughter at home

April 29, 2009 at 4:39 PM  
Blogger Miranda said...

To work with my daughter at home

April 29, 2009 at 4:39 PM  
Blogger pinecone304 said...

I follow on bloglines.

April 30, 2009 at 12:46 AM  
Blogger techyone said...

This is an excellent idea. I'd love this for my little ones and would share with my nieces.

April 30, 2009 at 6:40 PM  
Blogger Hélène said...

I would love to win this because I don't do enough activities with my prescooler and I feel badly about that.

April 30, 2009 at 9:54 PM  
Anonymous Carissa said...

I've just added you to my Bloglines reader...I'd love the Preschool Activity books for ideas for my two that we're not schooling yet. I'm hoping to create Workboxes a la Sue Patrick next school year and the ideas in these books would be great for filling my younger two children's boxes. kbjclj @ yahoo . com

May 1, 2009 at 12:06 AM  
Blogger JessW said...

I would love to have either of these. My son is 4 and needs a lot to keep him occupied. This might just keep me from losing my mind!

May 1, 2009 at 12:49 AM  
Blogger Lady Jen said...

I would love any preschool activity bag books! I'm always trying to keep an energetic 3yo busy and his little brother is right behind him!

May 1, 2009 at 6:58 AM  
Blogger Sara said...

What a wonderful giveaway - my child loves these! I would choose the Book 2 e-book, as I have participated in a swap using Book 1 already. Thanks!

May 1, 2009 at 9:47 AM  
Blogger christin said...

These look awesome! Thanks!
christinbanda(AT)yahoo(DOT)com

May 1, 2009 at 10:22 AM  
Blogger christin said...

I follow:)
christinbanda(AT)yahoo(DOT)com

May 1, 2009 at 10:23 AM  
Anonymous Amanda said...

Well, I think I just want the Preschool in a Bag!!! What great ideas!!

God bless-
Amanda

May 1, 2009 at 2:39 PM  
Anonymous Katie said...

Preschool in a bag would be excellent for my just-turned-four-year-old-yesterday!

May 1, 2009 at 10:35 PM  
Anonymous Katie said...

I blogged about it at http://www.kitchenstewardship.com/2009/05/01/natural-cleaning-hodgepodge/

May 1, 2009 at 10:36 PM  
Anonymous Katie said...

And I added you to Google REader...

May 1, 2009 at 10:36 PM  
Blogger shopannies said...

I want to allow my granddaughter every upper hand in life and that includes education

May 1, 2009 at 10:47 PM  
Blogger shopannies said...

following
shopannies@yahoo.com

May 1, 2009 at 10:49 PM  
Blogger shopannies said...

subscribe through reader
shopannies@Yahoo.com

May 1, 2009 at 10:49 PM  
Blogger blaneandkelly said...

My daughter will be two shortly after our second child is born. She is already demonstrating so much understanding and I would love to offer more fun, challenging activities, especially after her new baby bro arrives. We would be happy with either activity set! I am a new follower of your blog.

May 4, 2009 at 10:07 AM  
Blogger Heather M said...

We're always looking for new things to do with our 2 yr old! this would be great! Thanks

hmahan_0529 @ yahoo dot com

May 4, 2009 at 5:39 PM  
Blogger Heather M said...

and I follow you! Thanks

May 4, 2009 at 5:39 PM  
Blogger Rebecca Joy said...

I would love to win either of the activity in a bag books. I have a few "busy bags" for my 3 oldest to do and have had my eye on these books for a while!
barryjoyfulmom@gmail.com

May 4, 2009 at 6:04 PM  
Anonymous Jennifer said...

What a great giveaway! I am mom to two boys (ages 2 and 4) and am always looking for something that one of them can do while I educate the other. This looks perfect for us!

Thanks so much!
mystrix1(at)gmail(dot)com

May 4, 2009 at 9:10 PM  
Anonymous Jennifer said...

I also follow your great blog!

May 4, 2009 at 9:10 PM  
Blogger Kira said...

I would love to win Book 1 especially. With three little boys age 4 and under and a fourth on the way in August, having some nice, quiet activities would be great!

May 5, 2009 at 12:04 PM  
Blogger Monica said...

Hi-

I would love the second book! I did a swap for book one and our box of activities is wonderful to have for my 3 and 4 year olds while I teach my older kids. I would love to organize a book 2 swap!

Thanks,
Monica

May 5, 2009 at 12:45 PM  
Blogger Monica said...

Hi-

I'm a follower of your blog now. Looks like lots of great info! I can't wait till nap time to look some more.

~monica

May 5, 2009 at 12:46 PM  
Blogger Monica said...

I'm a subscriber as well! Here's hoping for Book 2!

Thanks,
Monica

May 5, 2009 at 12:51 PM  
Blogger Tracysweetangl said...

The kids would really like them! It would help them learn alot! Thanks!

May 8, 2009 at 12:23 PM  
Blogger Andrea M said...

We would love these...my older one can be creatively busy allowing me to spend time with my younger child...I like either one!

May 8, 2009 at 2:44 PM  
Blogger Andrea M said...

I follow

May 8, 2009 at 2:44 PM  
Blogger Andrea M said...

I subscribe

May 8, 2009 at 2:44 PM  
Blogger The Allen Family said...

Wow. This would be the neatest thing! I have 3 boys, ages 5, 3, and 1 and I'm sure they would be able to sit down and do these things forever. What a neat resource to have and I love the idea of getting together with other moms to split up making them.

May 8, 2009 at 6:27 PM  
Blogger The Allen Family said...

I subscribed.

May 8, 2009 at 6:30 PM  
Blogger The Allen Family said...

I signed up to follow too. Thanks!

May 8, 2009 at 6:31 PM  
Blogger Infant Bibliophile said...

would love to give these a try with our 17 month old; looks fun!

May 9, 2009 at 1:48 PM  
Blogger Laura @ Laura Williams' Musings said...

I would love to win the #1 set.

I had it downloaded on my computer at one time from CurrClick and before I could print it out. My computer crashed and I lost it. I can no longer download it again and I can't afford to re-purchase it.

I was really looking forward to using it as I have 3 preschoolers who I need to keep occupied while I do work with the 3 olders.

May 10, 2009 at 2:53 AM  
Blogger Helena said...

Checke them out this seems like like such a great idea. I could use this as I have a now four yr old and one yr old. the ideas look fun and easy.

May 10, 2009 at 10:05 PM  
Blogger Staci said...

We would love one of the books because they seem like a great teaching tool, plus they can foster independence and confidence. It's always tough to come up with fresh activity ideas. Thanks for the chance to enter!
mommastaci33(at)yahoo(dot)com

May 10, 2009 at 10:30 PM  
Blogger Monica said...

Hi-

I've placed your button on my blog: http://pennythoughts-monica.blogspot.com/

Hoping to win book 2!

Thanks for the giveaway,
Monica
melcran at sbcglobal .net

May 11, 2009 at 4:12 PM  
Blogger Monica said...

I've put a post about your giveaway/blog on my blog. Here's the link:
http://pennythoughts-monica.blogspot.com/2009/05/neat-books.html

Hoping to get book 2!
Thanks,
Monica
melcran at sbcglobal dot net

May 11, 2009 at 10:26 PM  
Blogger HeatherV said...

What a great idea. New to homeschooling and would love one of the books. Thanks for letting me enter. heather_vaz@yahoo.com

May 11, 2009 at 11:28 PM  
Blogger Cheri said...

What a fabulous idea to keep my preschooler busy while I'm working with my older girls. I going to make you example this weekend, I know he will love it. I would love to get the books.
Thanks,
Cheri
CDSmoak@gmail.com

February 19, 2010 at 10:59 PM  
Anonymous Sherri MacLean said...

Greetings,

I noticed your great blog and the wonderful photos of from your Activity Bag swap! My name is Sherri MacLean, one of the authors of Preschool Activities in a Bag - www.ActivityBags.com and we would love to post your photos on our web site. We are searching for swap photos to post on our site. If that would be okay with you, could you please email me any photos you have to info@activitybags.com? Thanks you so much in advance!

Blessings,

Sherri :)
www.ActivityBags.com
"Where fun and education fit in the same bag."

http://a-heart4home.blogspot.com/2009/04/preschool-activities-in-bag-review.html

March 15, 2010 at 5:45 PM  
Anonymous Canvas bags said...

I going to make you example this weekend, I know he will love it.

May 30, 2011 at 5:19 AM  
Anonymous Demes Costa Rica said...

OMG... I am so in need of these books, I am going to buy them online as E-Books... I cannot wait to get them, but I will love to have them also in hard copy, so if I win them I am not going to get mad that I already got the E-books :)
Thanks a lot for this great help, I am a new mama of a 2 years old, being myself 38... you know, only the famous can get along with that so easy.

June 4, 2011 at 5:32 PM  

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