Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Busy Bag Swap: Day 7 (Egg Carton Match)

Name: Whitney. Wife to one [Brian], and momma to 2 [one with us and one waiting in Uganda for us!]

Kids/Ages: Abigail [15 1/2 months], and our daughter waiting in Uganda [between ages of 0 and 2]

Blog address: thelopasclan.blogspot.com 

How do you spend your free time?
: I love reading blogs and watching movies. My husband, Brian, and I try to have "Movie Monday" every Monday night after Abigail goes to bed. I also like the occasional girls night! 

When you were a child, what was one of your favorite ways to spend your day?: 
Reading! I was a nerd, of sorts. I used to get in trouble for hiding in my closet to read after bedtime :) 

Fondest memory with your mom as a child?I have lots of memories with my mom. She was so involved in our lives and in school! I absolutely love all the costumes she used to sew for me- makes me wish I could sew. And she always sewed us a holiday vest [it was the 90s...vests were cool]. Most of my memories involve the outdoors- camping trips and outings on the lake. I vividly remember learning to ski between her legs. She also used to swing us around in the pool while singing "Barbara Ann". Those are some of the ones that stand out!

What does special time with your children look like? I love being a SAHM- every day with Abigail is special! But she adores books and reading, and I love to read to her. Today we cuddled up in bed with a stack of books and just read them all! I also loving intentional time engaging with her- getting down on her level and playing...chasing her around the house, tickling her, playing peek-a-boo, etc.

Favorite outdoor activity with your kids? The only outdoor activity we do in this weather is swimming, which she loves. When it is cooler out, I love going to the park and going on walks with her and Brian.

Favorite blog for children's activities/crafts/parenting? Wow there are many: Totally totsConfessions of a Homeschooler1+1+1=1, and the blogs of my mommy friends :) 

A favorite tradition that you want to pass down with your children?Family Worship. Brian and I really want to set aside intentional time to worship and study scripture together as a family. My favorite season of FW is Advent! We really want Christmas to be focused on Christ and about the Kingdom of heaven, and we hope our children grow up with a biblical view of holidays. 

About my busy bag: 

I am so not crafty. Like at, all. I desperately want to be, but alas I fail in this department often. So when Kirby and Chelsea posted about this Busy Bag Swap, I about had a heart attack from all of the excitement. The thought of having 25 other women do the “dirty work” on 25 unique crafts made me do a little happy dance!

So, I emailed Chelsea to let her know that I was on board, and I also let her know that I am a bit impaired in the creativity/ crafty department. She emailed me back and told me that my assignment was "Egg Cartons". Easy enough for this crafty challenged momma!

There are a variety of options available for a simple Egg Carton activity for toddler and preschoolers. I wanted to come up with an activity that could be used for a variety of ages.
So, without further ado, here is the Egg Carton: Color Match and Counting Game [though the counting part will not be modeled below]


Ready to create this activity?!
For 26 bags, I used:
- 26 cardboard egg cartons, donated by friends. Don't use the plastic cartons...they don't stay painted very well 
- 26 sets of a dozen plastic eggs [so 312 eggs], bought online at Oriental Trading. These were priced at $10 for 12 packs of a dozen eggs [so 144 eggs]. The real bummer was that I had 2 order 3 sets of these, because I needed 26 [and not a multiple of 12]. So I spent $30 plus shipping, and have 10 extra sets of a dozen eggs lying around. $39.99 after shipping charges
- 6 bottles of acrylic paint to match the colors of the eggs. Bought at Hobby Lobby for a total of $2.68
- paintbrush, which I already had
- dry beans for the counting portion, which I already had [WARNING! choking hazard for littles!]
- giant Ziploc bags to store the activity, the 2+ gallon. I have not purchased these yet, so I do not know the cost 

Total: $42.67, or $1.64 per bag, minus the cost of the ziploc bags. Would have been much cheaper [read $10 cheaper] if we were making 24 bags or less.

Here's how I made them:
The eggs came in 6 different color, so I bought 6 matching paints. I put 2 drops of each paint color into 2 different randomly selected egg cups in the carton [2 cups per color]. Then I used a paintbrush to swirl the paint around until the bottoms were all painted. I guess this would have been even cheaper if I had halved all the cartons and used only 6 eggs for each carton-half [only 1 egg of each color]. I would have had to buy even fewer eggs. BUT, I didn't want to be a complete cheapskate :) plus, I didn't know how well a cut-in-half carton would hold up. Plus I thought it would be more of a challenge if the kiddos had more to match. 

So I ended up with 2 pink compartments, 2 purple ones, 2 blue ones, 2 green ones, 2 yellow ones, and 2 orange ones. Is this making sense at all yet? It sounds better in my head than on paper...
So, I gave my pre-tot the painted [dry!] egg carton, and the dozen eggs to test it out. She is only 15 months old, so I was more focused on working on the motor skill of putting the eggs into the carton- we will work on the colors in a few months when she is a little older.

I modeled to her that the eggs were supposed to be put into the carton, and then she went to town. She was really enjoying herself until she had only 2 eggs left. Then, she took a moment to survey the carton, and refused to put the other 2 eggs into the carton. She insisted that they all be removed. So then she emptied the eggs out 1 by 1, and wouldn't refill the carton.
ready to start Momma!
getting the hang of what to do with the eggs
Abigail was very intrigued by the egg carton itself. She really tried to figure out how to get it to close all the way. Her latest desire is to 'pop a squat' on everything in sight, so she asked me several times if she could sit on the egg carton. Silly girl :)
At this point she is excitedly signing "more", but doesn't want to put the last 2 eggs in.
here she has just decided that the eggs in fact do NOT belong in the carton, but rather out of it.
so out they come!
here is a good view of what the bottom of the compartments look like painted

The next time I gave her the carton, I gave it to her with the eggs inside. She removed all of the eggs 1 by 1, and then spent some time examining and playing with them. One of the eggs popped open, and she was thrilled! 
what?! they open?! how come you didn't tell me before mom?!!!! 

She then decided that every single egg had to be opened. She spent the next several minutes opening all the eggs, and then trying to close them. 
notice all of the open eggs on the floor... 

She repeatedly ran over to me and asked for "hup" [help] with closing the eggs. 
who can resist that face?! :) so much for independent play...

After several minutes of described opening and closing of the eggs, I asked her to put them back in the carton, which she did. I think she really enjoyed herself! She has asked to play with them several times, so I think it was a hit with her. This was very appropriate for her current age, and lends itself for modification as she grows and her skills develop.

In a few months, we will work on matching colors, i.e. putting both pink eggs in the pink holes [I really don't know what to call those individual compartments!] I think this would be appropriate to begin sometime between 18 and 24 months.

As she gets older, we will add some basic counting/ math to the mix.
I am also including a little ziploc baggie with 12 dry beans [pinto/ black] with each activity bag. I have come up with a few ideas for these beans, inspired somewhat by this idea and this one: 

Fine motor skills: have toddler work on opening the egg, putting a bean in, closing the egg, and then putting it in its correct spot in the carton. I really think Abigail will like this when she gets a little older and masters how to close those eggs correctly! 

Counting: One idea I had was to put all of the beans in the carton, close the carton up, and shake it! Then have the child open the carton and count how many beans were in each of the holes. So with 12 beans, you might end up with, say, 2 in one, 4 in another, and 3 in two others, with the rest being empty. This would be good for early counters! If you had more beans you would have larger numbers. With more beans, you could also write a number on the bottom of each hole [1-12] with a sharpie, and your child count out the appropriate number of beans for each hole. I am only supplying 12 beans for the 26 bags [trying to keep cost low!], so you would have to add more beans of your own.

Basic math: The final idea I had for the 12 beans was to use them to do some basic addition. My idea was to have the child place 1 bean in each compartment. Then starting the the first bean on the top left, you add the beans to the next compartment, Mancala style. The child then does the addition as they are adding the bean.
  • SO, you take the first bean, and move it over to the 2nd compartment. 1+1=2. Then you take those 2 beans and add them over to the next compartment. 2+1=3 Continue to do it for the entire egg carton, ending with 11+1=12. This is really simple easy math. you could even do it in reverse, using subtraction to put all the beans back into their original compartments!

Go check out Geoboards on Planet of the Apels today. 


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