When I was single, I used to travel a lot for work. I found it handy to have a ready-travel kit of toiletries and make-up that I never had to pack/unpack. When I became a mom, I had a baby-products version of that.
And now that I have a preschooler, I also have an art-bag version of that.
It has gotten Ladybug Girl through long waits, restaurant meals, and adults-only get-togethers without whipping out the iPad all the time - that tends to turn her into a zombie at the table.
|Happily busy in the airport waiting lounge...|
|... and at a restaurant, waiting for the food...|
|... or waiting for a wedding to start.|
It first started as a travel busy-bag, but since it worked so well I bring the same kit around for such emergencies. Ok, truthfully it means I just hate unpacking - so it's long overdue for some downsizing for normal pasyal.
Here's a rundown of what's always inside:
|These never get unpacked, only replenished.|
Update: though at one point, it got a major downgrade.
With these simple materials, Ladybug Girl's fine motor gets some practice, and best of all, her imagination goes wild:
|I don't know what this is but she spent a long time cutting, folding, gluing, and coloring it. |
We have dozens of variations of this, and she enjoys this kind of open-ended play the most.
|Impromptu world map made to follow her interest in the "Continents Song".|
She memorized them all in that plane ride!
|Playing beginner tic-tac-toe with her cousin with washi tape and price stickers. |
Here's a round-up of our washi tape play here.
|The same materials, made into a 3D zoo while all the adults were busy.|
There are other things on rotation in the bag because they don't get as much action.
|Melissa and Doug 'Paint with Water' sheets + a paintbrush|
(This was at a church pew!)
|Workbooks are a hit-or-miss (they are definitely not my favorite kind of play)|
|Crayola mosaic sticker activities - after just one trip she lost |
|Soft-cover books are a cheap godsend - now these get a lot of action.|
|Adorably brilliant Taro Gomo doodle placemats gifted by her Ninang. |
I'll save these for when she's a better drawer since she's not so interested yet.
I love that the adults get in on the action, too.
|Here's her favorite Tito Santi hunkering down with her zoo as the adults finished lunch.|
|He's a little too good if you ask me. That lion and bat are insane.|
Of course I am told that a sibling would be another solution that would work just as well.
Sibling.. Art Bag.. Sibling.. Art Bag...?