Contributing Writer: Laurel MacDougall
Alphabet Rainbow Bean bags - just thinking of these makes me happy and a little giddy! I made these with my kiddos this week and we had so much fun doing this together. (to view this article in flip page magazine format go here)
In my pre-mommy days, I used to teach 1st grade. I loved it. Perhaps one of my favorite things to teach is beginning reading. Now, I have a 4 year old who is reading up a storm and I am strongly encouraging her any way I can. I chose to stencil letters of the alphabet – upper case on one side and lower case on the other side. We have spent so many hours with these bean bags – seriously, the possibilities are endless. You could do numbers or shapes or even words.
Before you start with your kids, there is some prep that needs to be done. I cut 5″ squares out of rainbow fabric that I had. Then I spent forever cutting stencils out of freezer paper. You could probably just run it through your Silhouette or Cricuit if you have one and save some time. After you cut them out, you can just iron them on – freezer paper is awesome like that!
Now, the kids can help. I just showed them how to stencil lightly and let them try. It is better to do lots of light coats rather than one heavy coat of paint. It was sort of a reward for them to do this at the end of the day.
While they were sleeping that night, I sewed around the edges, clipped the corners, and turned them inside out. When they got home from school the next day, they filled them with rice. We used 1/2 cup per bag – and because I let my kids do it, there was rice all over the floor. Oh well, nothing a quick swipe of the broom can’t solve.
It took about an hour to edge stitch around the bean bag and sew the holes closed of all 26 of them. Then – the play time began.
We’ve just tossed them around.
We’ve made words with them. You can then ask them to switch one letter and make a new word. You can also build crossword puzzles of sorts with them.
We’ve sorted them by rainbow order.
We’ve pulled out the “power letters” – aka vowels.
We tried to see what we could balance the bean bags on – heads, elbows, tops of feet . . .
We’ve shot baskets with them.
With my seven year old, we talked about proper nouns and when you capitalize something. I’ve also just placed them in front of them and watched what happens!
With spring weather being up and down, these have brightened our days!