Today's post will not be for you veteran mommies; you guys have it all together and I know you are pros at occupying your kids on outings. But for those of you who may be a mommy-to-be, or a babysitter, or an auntie, or just plain curious, today's post is all about how to pack a fun bag for toddlers who are always on the go and ready to explore and discover their surroundings.
First, (I had sooooooo much fun doing the photo shoot for today!!!) let me be clear that I am not talking about how to pack a diaper bag. A fun bag is not a diaper bag. I like my diaper bag as sleek as possible and filled with only the bare necessities like diapers, wipes, disposable bags, change of clothes, desitin, a sippy cup or two, plastic spoons or forks, a quick, easy snack and possibly a bib. After all, I have 2 toddlers to run after, I can't have a super packed diaper bag.
A fun bag is filled with learning toys and items that will keep your child busy and occupied while you visit with a friend (like for me when I have prayer time at Debi's) take a trip to Grandmas, go to the park, or will be in the car for longer than 20 minutes.
A fun bag is fun!!! Get excited about packing it, and let your kids help you! After all, they are going to be the one using the items, so give them choices and options and allow them to help you pack the fun bag (probably the night before so you aren't stressed about packing the bag and you can organize it to your liking afterward). I'm all for involving your child because everything you do can be used as a learning experience and let's face it, it helps time goes by quicker when everyone is working together to get things done.
Second, choose a bag with sturdy handles and pockets, and lots of room. (Isn't mine nice? It was a bridesmaid gift from Christy H. She has excellent taste!)
Fun Bag Items
#1 Wipes, Disposable bags: You can never have enough wipes! Teach your kids to have good cleanliness habits now and always bring a disposable bag for the car or for outings so that you don't have to worry about constant trips to a trash can.
#2 Interactive Books: My kids love the kind of books that open up to two or three pages. They also love books that have texture, especially my 1 year old, but even Julia, my 2 and 1/2 year old will feel the ponies nose, or touch the doggy's soft fur over and over.
#3 Sorters: This sorter in particular keeps my kids busy for at least 5-10 minutes. They count the sides of the shapes, they name the shapes, they have to find the right shape, and when they are all done, the best part is dumping them out to start all over again. This is a good toy for more than one child because they have to share and take turns and it has many shapes to choose from.
#4 Playdough: Thanks to our favorite Aunt Suzie we have enough play dough to last us until the kids are ten! Aunt Suzie spoils us rotten, we love her! This is only for Julia right now since Marky is still learning not to eat it. But Julia carries her supplies in her little bucket and sets up shop at a table and gets right to work. She has cookie cutter tools and shaping tools to use. Very fun stuff and it teaches her to be creatively careful.
#5 Noisy Toys, Soft Toys: Julia and Mark love to sing so we have a few toys they like to bring in the car to practice familiar songs like Old MacDonald, Itsy Bitsy Spider and our Leap Frog sings the alphabet. The soft toys are small enough to carry around but perfect to cuddle while sitting in a shopping cart or car seat, or swinging on a swing.
#6 Interactive Talking Book: Mark loves this book because on each page the narrator talks about the letters of the alphabet and asks questions. Mark enjoys the man's voice and pressing all the buttons.
#7 Puzzles: This is a great option for when you are visting with a friend or grandma because you can help/assist your child perfectly fine while carrying on a conversation (We did this puzzle twice today during our visit with Aunt Debi)
#8 Chalk: Perfect for outside sidewalks, the park, or driveways, but beware, wipes will be needed when the drawing is done!
#9 Coloring books, Workbooks, and Crayons: This is an item we never leave the house without, in fact I will slip a coloring book or two with crayons in my purse or diaper bag, because the kids love to color and it really keeps them occupied. It's another great way to bond with them because as you are coloring one side they can color the other. You can ask them why they chose the color they did, whose in the picture, what are they doing, etc.
#10 Snacks: I saved the best for last. We always pack extra snacks on fun outings because it saves money and time.
Happy Kids = One Happy Mom
Hope you enjoyed my Fun Bag Secret! Have a great weekend! Tomorrow's my Recipe Swap post, please post your own recipe to share!