Friday, November 2, 2012

Science & Math Activity Bags {Review}


A few years back I participated in an Activity Bag swap for preschoolers.   I found a swap group online and signed up to do one of the pattern matching activity bags.  It was really simple to do.  I gathered the supplies that I needed and assembled ONE activity bag for 20 different children.  Even after a few years, those bags still get pulled out pretty much on a weekly basis. 

When I found out that we had the opportunity to review for Activity Bags I started jumping up and down!  Literally! 

Activity Bags were created by two homeschool moms, Paula and Sherri, that set out to have fun, educational and independent activities for their preschoolers.  The idea was to have activities ready for younger siblings to do while their older siblings were working on their school.

Activity Bags have since grown, and they now have several Activity Bag books for preschoolers as well as children in K-8th grade.  The books that they currently offer are:

  • Preschool Activites in a Bag - eBook 1
  • Preschool Activites in a Bag - eBook 2
  • (Preschool Activites in a Bag - eBook 3 is in the works)
  • Science Experiments in a Bag- eBook 1  Biology, Nature and General Science
  • Science Experiments in a Bag - eBook 2 Chemistry, Human Body and General Science
  • Science Experiments in a Bag - eBook 3 Chemistry
  • Reading Games in a Bag - eBook 1
  • Math Games in a Bag - eBook 1
  • Travel Activities in a Bag - eBook 1
  • Coordinator Book - for those that was interested in hosting swaps

Photobucket   Photobucket
We were given the Science Activities in a Bag eBooks 1,2,3 and the Math Games in a Bag eBook for this review. 

When Sherri and Paula created the Activity Bag books they created them in a format that makes it very simple for several moms to get together, each take an activity, assemble them and then swap.  But, if you are a homeschooler you know that we are famous for thinking outside of the box, right?! 

I decided that for our family right now, the best way to use the Activity Bag books was to do the individual experiments and games with out assembling all of them prior to use.  I think that, for us, we will work through the experiments and games one by one and then assemble the Activity Bags for the ones that are our favorites. 

For example one of the experiments that we have done so far is the Dancing Peanuts.  It is from the Science Experiments in a Bag -eBook 2.  In the experiment the kids start with a glass of water and baking soda.  Next they add 5 peanuts, and then vinegar.  The peanuts dance by moving up and down in the glass.  This is one of the experiments that we will make a bag for, because I know it is something that they will want to do over and over again. 

I really like how the Science Activity Bags not only include the experiments, but experiment logs, with observation questions and additional experiment suggestions.  I was happy to see that they also suggest for the children to draw what happens in the experiments. 
Each of the Science Experiments in a Bag have 25 experiments in them.  Some of the experiments included are:
eBook 1
  • Catch a Web - observe intricate patterns of spider webs and draw them.
  • Feasting Yeast - see how yeast and sugar can inflate a balloon.
  • Fungus Amungus - learn how to grow mold.
  • Worm Farm - learn what earth worms do that is good for soil.

eBook 2
  • Big Bubbles - kids make their own bubble frame and make some pretty big bubbles too!
  • Crayon Creations - see how heat changes a solid to a liquid, and then by cooling the liquid, how it changes back into a solid.
  • Siphon It - learn how a siphon works.
  • Spinning Around - how heat makes a spiral turn.
eBook 3
  • Get Gluey - learn how to make glue from vinegar and milk.
  • Lots of Lava - make a volcano with flowing lava.
  • Seltzer Rocket - learn what happens when gas builds up.
  • Sun Burn - learn how to cut a string by the sun's rays.

The Science Experiments in a Bag eBooks are available for $15.00 each.  You can also purchase the Science in Experiments in a Bag eBook Bundle, which includes ebook 1,2 & 3 for $39.00. 

We also got the chance to review the Math Games in a Bag.  This eBook has 32 games in it!  The games are geared for kids in elementary grades.  Some of the games included are:

  • Telling Time
  • Trickster #1 - find out how all roads lead to 99
  • Word Problems
  • Place Value - roll the dice and put numbers in the correct place value. 
  • Number Writing - practice writing numbers
We were pretty impressed with the games included in this book, although I felt that they were more for the younger elementary grades.  There are lots of activities to help students master things that they are already learning. 

The Math Games in a Bag eBook 1 is available for $15.00Here are some sample pages from this  book.

Activity Bags has a short survey on their website to help them better gage the wants and needs of their customers.  If you take just a few minutes to fill this out they will send you a free eBook sampler of the different Activity Bag books available.

I recommend Activity Bags, they are an easy and inexpensive way to incorporate fun, hands on learning activities that can be used independently!

Disclaimer:  We received the Activity Bag eBooks mentioned in this review at no cost to us in exchange for a fair and honest review.



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