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Make a Fun Bag

Brought to you by Educators for Social Responsibility

Sometimes children watch TV because it's the easiest thing for them to do. Your growing child needs open-ended, creative activities to balance TV time and keep her imagination growing!

Here's an easy way to plan ahead and make sure your child always has something to do "instead of watch TV." All you need to get started is a sturdy cloth or paper shopping bag. A box, carton, or basket will work, too.

Take a minute right now, and put in a few toys and objects that your child likes to play with alone. Stick in one or two that you can use together, too. Now you'll be all ready the next time your child asks, "What can I do?" You can pull out the Fun Bag as an alternative to TV, when your child needs a rest, or "down time," or when you go places like a doctor's office or a restaurant where you may have to wait.

Good things to include in your bag might be: **

  • Miniature figures, animals, bean bag "friends," or homemade wooden clothespin dolls
  • Finger puppets
  • Small cars, trucks, boats, or construction machines
  • Crayons or markers, and a pad
  • A small puzzle or a put-together toy
  • A favorite book
  • A squishy ball or non-drying clay or putty
  • Scraps of cloth with interesting textures
  • Buttons, shells, rocks, coins, or small toys that can be sorted in different ways or used to make patterns
  • A deck of cards
  • Magnets
  • A surprise!

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