This is a crafting project as well as a continuous learning activity for kids. I made each of my girls one of these, when they were smaller. They loved it and took it everywhere. First, I will give you directions on crafting the bag. Then I will give activities for the kids involving the bag. They will eventually come up with their own ideas. The goal is to have a small bag ready when the kids head out to the park, for a walk, or any other place where they can observe the world around them. They will have a place to bring back all the treasures they collect along the way.
DIY Crafting an Explorer’s Bag
1 canvas tote bag- cost about $3-$5, at least 8×11
Fabric markers or paint
Sponges and brushes optional
Material to protect work area
Apron to protect clothes
Extra embellishments optional
1. Read the label of your bag to see if it needs to be prewashed.
2. Have your child, with help, paint or write their name on the bag.
3. Then using the supplies you have chosen, allow them to decorate the bag. They can use animal shaped sponges to sponge paint the bag. Let their imagination run wild.
4. Allow the paint to dry. Heat set using an iron. Read the directions of your paint for complete directions. They very by product.
5. Finish the bag with any extra embellishments you have. Add bows, fringe, decals, or patches. Possibilities are endless. Be Careful…these may get dirty and require washing. Check to see if your embellishments can be washed.
Fill the Explorers Bag
What makes this explorers bag so fun is what’s inside. Choose age appropriate items. This bag is not meant for children under 3.
Items to include
Cheap box of zipper bags
A small handheld notebook (buy these in bulk!)
A magnifying glass
A small pouch to keep pencils and crayons
Store all of these items in the bag.
Activities ( Become Sid the Science Kid)
There’s an endless list of possibilities with this bag. Here are a few.
1. Go on a walk around the block.
2. Have a scavenger hunt.
Collect small objects along the way and place in the zipper bags. Later, at home, take them out and look at them. Use the magnifying glass to get a closer look. Discuss what the kids see. Have them draw what they see in the notebook.
3. Go for a walk at the park, using the compass. Talk about what direction you are going in. Turn around. Go in a new direction and talk about it.
4. Watch local wildlife. Any wildlife will do. Your backyard is a great place to view nature. Talk about what they see. Have them draw a picture in the notebook.
These bags have countless uses. All are a learning experience. Kids love finding out about the world around them. Everyday trips become a learning experience and exposes kids to basic scientific principles. In my opinion, the sooner they are exposed to science, the better. You’re never too young to learn.