Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Guest post: Dawn and her busy bags for learning shapes

This is the final entry in the Xuron 4 in 1 Crimper giveaway.  If you missed who won, click here for yesterday's post and to watch the video.  It's worth it to see how flustered Steve got when I surprised him by recording him walking out of the garage.

Dawn is my cousin and the mother of our goddaughter, Mackenzie.  Dawn has been looking for ways to keep her toddler busy and learning, and the project she has to show you today does just that - it combines matching colors with arranging craft sticks to make shapes.  Check out an "official" picture of the project.  

Here's what Dawn has to say about the project and her experience with craft sticks:
Busy bags, as the name implies, is an activity contained in a compact bag to keep your child busy. There are TONS of great ideas for bags out there on the web, in blogs, and on Pinterest. Some are so creative, but they can be a lot of work and can get a bit pricey when you are buying all of these supplies to just make one bag. That is where busy bag exchanges come in. My mommy and me group has had 3 in the last couple of months for 2 different age groups: 0-2 year-olds & 2-4 year-olds. I bought in bulk and made these bags for both age groups. The craft sticks only come in 6 colors, so I had a hard time deciding which shapes were the best to learn first.

Craft sticks: The box I bought did not list how many of each color I would be getting. I expected that they would be better quality, but there were quite a few that I felt were rejects and the dye comes off when my daughter puts them in her mouth. I began by sorting out the rejects and sorting by color. I wanted to know which colors I would have enough of to make the shapes with the greater amount of sides. Then I just started an assembly line process of putting the right amount of sticks per color per bag.

Next, I measured & drew / traced out the shapes onto craft foam, cut them out, and labeled them. Finally, I labeled the different sticks with the shape they were to make and how many were to be used to make that shape. I manipulated a couple of extra shapes for the kit because an octagon has enough sticks to make pentagons and hexagons, and a decagon is so close to a circle that I figured that the 10 sticks for the star could serve double duty too. For these, I made extra foam shapes and labeled the other side of the sticks as well.
Here are a few pictures of the project in process:

And here is our adorable Mackenzie playing with them:

Dawn also has been working on beaded ornaments in her "adult-only" time, which is rare.  When she's finished with those, I'll share that project with you, too.

Thanks, Dawn!  Give that baby a kiss for me!

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