Beanie used to bring home book bags every Thursday. They had a book, with a simple activity that related to it. She had laminated footprints for “The Foot Book,” and a sheet with ideas for using the footprints. The bookbags had a certain novelty that made them fun for both of us.
Then, earlier this fall, I went to a rummage sale at the home of a former Head Start teacher. She had a huge box of book bags, for 25 cents each. I grabbed about 5 of them–by the time I realized that I should have gotten more, the sale was over–and thought about how I would use them.
My first thought was to do an exchange. I would find other interested parents and create a mailing circle. We would each make one book bag, then pass it on the the next person on the list. Every week, we would get a new book bag, then mail it to the next person. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find anyone who was ready to try that yet.
So I decided to make 12 book bags and keep them hidden up in the cupboard. Beanie gets to use one a week, for the whole week. On Saturday, we trade it out for another one.
Here are the books and activities that we have, in case you would like to make your own book bags. They aren’t a lot of work to make, but they add a certain specialness to story time:
—My Crayons Talk by Patricia Hubbard, with crayons and paper.
–David McPhail’s Animals A to Z, with 4 plastic animals.
—Curious George Makes Pancakes by Margret and H.A. Rey, with pancake mix.
—It Looked Like Spilt Milk by Charles G. Shaw, with felt shape cut-outs.
—Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak, with paper bags for making monster puppets.
—When the Leaf Blew In, by Steve Metzger, with some leaves from the yard.
—No More Water in the Tub! by Tedd Arnold, with a cassette tape of the story (we will have to get Beanie a tape recorder for Christmas!)
—The Paper Bag Princess by Robert Munsch, with paper bags for making your own “Princess Dresses.”
—Ladybugs by Mia Posada, with markers and stones for making your own ladybugs.
—Pigs by Robert Munsch, with plastic toy pigs.
—Porcupine’s Pajama Party by Terry Harshman, with pajamas.
—Giggle, Giggle, Quack by Doreen Cronin, with paper and a pencil for writing your own notes.
So, to add some fun to that tired bookshelf in your kid’s room, buy some Ziploc bags and spend 5-10 minutes creating some interesting book kits of your own!