Saturday, September 24, 2011

Entertaining a One-Year Old V - Build-A-Letter Activity Bag

In case you missed it:
In August I participated in two activity bag swaps. They were awesome, and we are now stocked up on  busy bags to keep Cannon occupied once Baby Boy gets here in January. 

One of the swaps took place in College Station - pictures of our road trip are coming - and my activity to prepare was the Build-A-Letter bags. Below are the instructions I followed to assemble the bags. Tomorrow I'll post links to all of the other activity bags that were swapped so you can get ideas for activities for you kids. After that I'll be starting a series on "Entertaining a One-Year-Old." I get quite a few questions asking what I do with Cannon during the day and throughout the week - so rather than type and re-type the same email you'll get all the goodies in a few 

Build-A-Letter Activity Bag

The Build-A-Letter activity helps your child learn to match shapes as well as practice learning their letters. The idea is that your child uses foam shapes to create each uppercase letter.

Each activity bag has the entire uppercase alphabet printed out on card stock and enough foam shapes to make each letter (not all at the same time). Foam pieces are different colors so you can also use them to learn colors, as well as shapes.

Once your child has mastered building each letter, you can use this activity in a variety of different ways:
«    Cut apart the letters (cut each page in half) and use them to form words
«    Use the template online to print the lowercase letters (
«    Cut enough additional foam pieces to build ALL of the alphabet at one time.

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To make your own Build-A-Letter Activity Bag you'll need a few things. Here are the supplies I purchased to make 26 activity bags:
  • Bright Foam Sheets (I actually only used one of the packages pictured!)
    12 ct.
    $4.99 each (40% off at JoAnns, regularly $7.99)
    Total Cost: $5.20
  • Gray Cardstock
    110 lb
    250 sheets
    $13.99 each
    Total Cost for two: $30.29
  • Ziploc Bags
    Gallon Size Freezer Bags
    40 count
    $2.97 each
    Total Cost for one: $2.97
Total cost to make 26 activity bags: $38.46

Cost per individual bag: $1.48

You can find the uppdercase letters template at Tired, Need Sleep. (I added the "W" to her original templates, since she forget it. :-)

To assemble this bag I printed the alphabet onto card stock.

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Then I traced the template onto sheets of foam and cut and cut and cut and cut . . . until I couldn't cut nay more. I used a disappearing ink fabric marker to trace the shapes onto the foam so that I didn't leave an ugly marker/pen line behind on each of the shapes.

Finally, I sorted enough of the shapes into each activity bag to makes the letters.

I let Cannon do a test run, and at 13-months, the versatility and purpose of this activity was completely lost on him. So, we have some room to grow.

But by golly - squishing foam shapes into tiny wads is awesomely fun!

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