Saturday, August 20, 2016


How many cloth bags have you collected at conferences this summer? Don't throw them away or shove them in a closet. Look at these ideas for giving them another life in your classroom.

What? conference bags, old briefcase, backpack, etc.

How? Make “discovery bags” with some of these materials:

Concept Bag –Put objects that are the same color, shape, beginning sound, etc. in the bag

Theme Bags – Collect books about a particular theme. Add pencils, paper, crayons, and ask children, “What can you find out?”

Tell Me More – Put an object in the bag and give the children clues. When they guess what it is, take it out of the bag and encourage the children to describe the object. Keep saying, “Tell me more!” as they use more adjectives to describe the item.

Writing Portfolio – Put paper, envelopes, sticky notes, pencils, pens, colored pencils, stickers, scissors, glue, and other writing paraphernalia in the bag.

Math Kit – Add a calculator, ruler, minute timer, counters, toy money, tablet, pencil, calendar, and other math related objects to the bag.

Science Kit – You will need an old white dress shirt (short sleeve) and safety goggles to make a science kit. Write “scientist of the week” on the pocket. Add paper, pencils, a magnet, magnifying glass, and book of science experiments to the kit. One child each week gets to be “scientist of the week” and take home the bag on Monday. They choose a science experiment and practice it at home with their parents. On Thursday, they return the kit and present the experiment to their classmates.

Happy Bag – Fill the bag with a special book, puppet, game, flashlight, and other small toys. Use for emergencies to make children happy.

Art Portfolio – Place construction paper, markers, crayons, glue, scissors, play dough, and other art media in a bag for individual creative activities.

Take Home Teddy – Put a stuffed animal, spiral notebook, and pencil in a bag. Choose a different child to take home the back each evening. The child writes or dictates a story to their parents about the bear.
*Just for fun add a toothbrush, pajamas, and other items for the bear.

Take Home Activities – Send home games, books, puzzles, and other activities children can work on at home with their parents.

Hint! Wouldn't discovery bags be a super project for parent volunteers?