Studio 5 Contributor, Kiersten Blanchard, shares ideas for the perfect Take ‘n Go Kits for every place you (and your little ones) need to go.
Soft and Silent Kit: This kit is for the places you go, like church, where the sounds of hard plastic toys and crinkly papers seem a little too loud.
Start with any unused fabric bag you have.
Then, load it up with any soft toys including the following:
Fabric Quiet Books
Colored Pipe Cleaners
Homemade Seek & Find (If you’d rather buy it, visit www.littlelit.com)
Small objects to find
Laminated list of objects included
1. Find objects to put into See & Find. Buying everything can be expensive. Look around your house for decorative buttons, game board pieces, paper clips, very small toys, etc. You can also go to Deseret Industries and buy board games with small objects inexpensively. At the craft store you can find alphabet beads.
2. Click here for the square and circle patterns. Print them out. Cut out the square. Lay two layers of fleece and one layer of vinyl on top of each other. Using the square pattern cut a square out of all three.
3. Lay one fleece square with the vinyl square underneath. Place the circle pattern on top of both and, using a sewing machine, sew directly on the pattern around the circle. You will be sewing the paper on top of your two layers. Tear the paper from the top. In the center of the circle cut through the fleece layer only and trim around the circle, revealing the clear vinyl window.
4. Sew the two pieces of fleece together leaving a 2″ opening on one side. Through the opening fill the bag so it’s about half full with the beads. Push other small objects through the opening.
5. Punch a small hole in the laminated list of objects and lace the ribbon through the hole. Place both ends of the ribbon into the opening you have left in the fleece.
6. Finish sewing up the square, sewing the ends of the ribbon into the seam. Trim the edges of the square close to the seam.
Drill with ¼” bit
Shape patterns to trace onto wood
Acrylic paint (optional)
Create patterns by making shapes on your computer. Cut out your patterns and trace onto the wood. Cut out shapes using a scroll saw. Drill holes around the edges using a ¼” bit. Drill slowly to get clean holes. (If you drill too fast the drill will punch through the back leaving a messy hole.) Paint if desired. Store with laces.
*If you don’t have access to a scroll saw, you can also print out shapes or images on card stock. (I have used shapes from a calendar.) Cut them out and laminate using 5 or 10 mil lamination (not just lightweight). Punch holes around the edges with a paper punch. Store with laces.
Thin & Tidy Kit: This kit is for the place you go, like restaurants, where you have a flat surface to work on, but that surface may get a little dirty while you’re there. Because these activities are laminated, you can give them a quick wipe before you put them away.
Start with a portable filing bag, one with separate partitions for each activity
Then, load it up with any flat activities including the following:
Paper & Crayons
Where’s Waldo Books
Folder Fun (A Flat Quiet Book)
8 filing folders
Color copies of the pages
Sticky Velcro (5 feet package)
1. Click here to print the pages on a color copier at home at a copy store. Cut out the pictures as directed on each page. Trim each of the 16 activity pages around the edge. Glue them onto the inside of the filing folder. Each activity has a left and right side.
2. Laminate the shapes and folders. (Alphagraphics is the cheapest place I found.) The folders can be laminated in light weight on the rollers. I laminated the cut-out shapes in 5 mil pouches to make them sturdier. Cut out the laminated shapes.
3. Use Velcro to attach shapes to appropriate places in the activity folders.
Small framed magnet board
Magnets with adhesive on the back
Tangram puzzle book
Click here to view the tangram pattern. Print it onto the card stock. Cut out shapes and laminate in a 10 mil pouch. You will need to cut out one additional trapezoid, flipped over, or stick a magnet to both sides of one. (The trapezoid is the only shape that needs to sometimes be flipped over to complete a tangram puzzle. Everything else can just be rotated.) Stick magnets onto the back of each piece. Store on magnet board with puzzle book. You can print out the puzzles at the following websites:
Tangram puzzle books you can buy:
Blast in a Bucket (or Box) Kit: This kit is for the places you go, like the doctor’s office where a little noise is okay…You just want to keep the kids near you and happy!
Start with a fun container. I wanted one with a handle so my children could carry it. You can use a clear bucket container, a metal container, or chip board container. (Roberts has adorable chip board containers in various shapes.) Decorate your container as desired.
Then, load it up with any compact activities including the following:
Lace Shapes (directions earlier)
Favorite small toys (Toys in this kit should stay in the kit, making them more exciting because they aren’t used every day)
Drill with 1/8″ bit
String or yarn
Small round paper punch
1. To make the fish: Click here to view the fishes. Print, cut out, and laminate (5 or 10 mil) the fish. Punch a small round circle near the mouth of each fish. Slide the paper clip into the hole.
2. To make the fishing pole: Drill a small hole through one end of the dowel. Thread the string through and tie a knot. Attach the magnet to the bottom of the string.
Items You Can Buy:
Seek & Find “I Spy” Toys: www.littlelit.com
Finger Puppets: http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/20099302
Cheerio Book: search “Cheerio Book” at www.Amazon.com for several options
Wikki Stix: Discovery Gateway or Hobby Lobby
Soft Books: www.softplayforkids.com (I found “Noah’s Ark” at Costco)