May has been an insane month, y’all.
There’s been so many great things that have happened this month, mixed with bittersweet ending of my last time teaching 7th grade (that I know of!). I have had some wonderful days off, Jared’s birthday, two baby showers, my mom visiting, and even a Memorial Day BBQ with good friends from church. Once summer comes, I think I’ll take some time and go back and report more on those (and definitely post more about my awesome baby shower last week, once I get some pictures from it!).
One of the neat things about expecting Baby Boothe is the new friends I am starting to make at church. Oftentimes, I just didn’t cross paths with them. They had kids to take care of, and I was working full time. There just wasn’t a lot of opportunities to seek those people out. But now Baby Boothe is in the picture, and I won’t be working full time, it’s opening up those opportunities to meet some different people and take part in different activities.
Some of these ladies decided to get together to do an activity swap. Essentially the idea is that we all make a bunch of the same kind of busy bag (or quiet activity) for our kids and then get together to swap them, and all the activities are geared for younger ages, like 3 and under. Then we meet up at somebody’s house and swap the activities, so you end up with a whole bunch of different things to do with your kids.
I made 17 sets of “Texture Cards”, a sensory activity for small children.
It was a lot of work, but I pretty much had all the supplies on hand (things from my classroom, like buttons and foam stickers, or things from the house like sponges and fabric.)
I chose brightly colored cardstock, pinks, blue, green, and yellow, and then laminated them and cut them into eighths. I originally started to alternate the colors of the sets (like you see in the picture above), but being the semi-perfectionist I am, I quickly started to get stressed about the logistics of that and matching up coloration (HEAVEN FORBID that you end up with pink button on a pink card!), so I ended up sticking with just one color of card per set after my practice round.
Textures I tried:
1. String (difficult, not my favorite)
2. Foam sea animal stickers (easy, fun, and cute!)
3. Puff balls (I was going to use cotton balls, but saw these brightly colored ones in the grocery store and thought they would be even better!)
4. Sponges (They hadn’t been used yet, don’t worry)
5. Heavy brocade (rougher fabric)
6. Satin (They used to be a old pair of pajamas that had an unfortunate, large rip… I promise I washed them before I put them in the scrap pile. Do you really think I’d be passing dirty laundry on to other people’s kids?!)
7. Buttons (The buttons may just be my favorite part. You can find “granny grab bags” from a store like Michaels that have all sorts of random, fun buttons in them for a couple of dollars. I used these buttons for a reading/writing activity I did at the beginning of the school year with my seventh graders. If you’ve ever read “The Memory String”, it makes more sense. If you haven’t read it, you probably should.)
I was going to do rice for a “rough” texture as well, but between the laminated cards, the Elmer’s glue, and the hot glue gun, none of the combinations were coming out in a friendly-to-the-Pregnant-Elisabeth sort of way, so after a few meltdowns, Jared convinced me that with everything else going on, 7 texture cards per set would be just fine and dandy.
But think: The texture possibilities are limitless. It would be so easy to add on to these with fun ideas like netting, other sorts of stickers, foam, duct tape flaps…. etc!
Anyways, the swap is tomorrow night. I really hope that my cards are well accepted… And I am keeping my fingers crossed that the hours of work I put into making these sets will be worth all the hard work!