I was originally planning to write this post prior to leaving for Russia, but things got super crazy in the couple weeks prior, so I put off writing this post till I got to Russia and had more time.
My oldest kiddo is a 4.5 year old girl and she loves doing all sorts of activities. To make my being away easier on her, I opted to make up little goodie-activity bags for her. I made one for each day I would be gone, starting with April 23 and ending on May 26. My total cost invested for that entire timeframe was $20.00. I got this idea by reading another blog about how a mom left little notes for her kids for each day she would be gone, so I decided to expand on the idea.
The basis for each bag was to leave a movie and some type of activity that she could do while her younger sister was napping each day. I started with gallon sized plastic bags and started adding stuff. My girl is into Disney and animated movies so I went through all our movies and picked out ones that she has yet to watch and put one in each bag. The rule is that she has to watch the movie in the bag first each day, then if she chooses afterward she can pick one of her princess movies to watch, Cinderella and Frozen are the faves in the house right now, I can recite each movie in its entirety and have memorized the song Let It Go. And this is what happens when you have girls in the house….. But back to the bags. The movies I have are all in VHS form, yep we’re classy like that. But jesus Disney DVDs are so pricey at $15-20 each, it’s much easier to just go to a thrift store and pay $0.25-1.00 per tape, then if the kiddos don’t like a certain movie, it’s not a huge loss. I’ve been gradually picking up Disney and other animated movies since before my oldest was born, so this wasn’t any additional expense for my bags, since I already owned all the movies.
My girl also loves crafts, especially painting. So I picked up some “Paint With Water” books at the Dollar Tree and put a sheet in each bag. The options for these is really rather limited, the store just gets in random boxes of these every once in a while, so it’s hit and miss on what you can find. This particular time I managed to get 2 different Hello Kitty ones and a Lisa Frank one. Sometimes they also have Sesame Street ones but not this time. She can make a mess with them and that’s the important part.
I also wanted another activity for each day and wanted to mix it up a bit depending on the day so I went to both Walmart and Dollar Tree and stocked up on random things to put in the bags. Every other day she has a mini-puzzle to put together, I got 4 boxes of puzzles at Dollar Tree, each box had 4 mini puzzles in it that feature various scenes from the movie Frozen. On puzzle days she also gets a glow in the dark bracelet to play around with before bedtime. Then on days in between the puzzles she gets either a bottle of bubbles or some play-doh.
Each bag also contains a little note from me, some change for her bank, some candy, and a sheet of stickers. From what I have heard she is loving the bags and is looking forward to getting a new one each day! Here are some pics of the regular bags:
I did make a larger bag with more activities for the halfway point and then another special bag for the final day I will be gone, gives her something to look forward to in the future. Here are pics of those bags.
I have each gallon bag dated so she knows which one to take each day and they are stored in large plastic tubs. Along with these bags she also got new markers, watercolors and chalk to play with while I am gone. Then she also got a Frozen blanket to cuddle with.
I thought doing something like this would provide her with a good activity to do each day and then she can think of me while she is watching her movie and doing the activities. Would work for many occasions, but mom being gone for over a month seemed like a good time to try it out!