Saturday, 30 March 2013

Take-Anywhere: Art Bag

When I was single, I used to travel a lot for work.  I found it handy to have a ready-travel kit of toiletries and make-up that I never had to pack/unpack.  When I became a mom, I had a baby-products version of that.

And now that I have a preschooler, I also have an art-bag version of that.

It has gotten Ladybug Girl through long waits, restaurant meals, and adults-only get-togethers without whipping out the iPad all the time - that tends to turn her into a zombie at the table.

Happily busy in the airport waiting lounge...

... and at a restaurant, waiting for the food...

... or waiting for a wedding to start.

It first started as a travel busy-bag, but since it worked so well I bring the same kit around for such emergencies.  Ok, truthfully it means I just hate unpacking - so it's long overdue for some downsizing for normal pasyal.

Here's a rundown of what's always inside:
These never get unpacked, only replenished.
Update: though at one point, it got a major downgrade.

With these simple materials, Ladybug Girl's fine motor gets some practice, and best of all, her imagination goes wild:

I don't know what this is but she spent a long time cutting, folding, gluing, and coloring it.
We have dozens of variations of this, and she enjoys this kind of open-ended play the most.

Impromptu world map made to follow her interest in the "Continents Song".
She memorized them all in that plane ride!

Playing beginner tic-tac-toe with her cousin with washi tape and price stickers. 
Here's a round-up of our washi tape play here.

The same materials, made into a 3D zoo while all the adults were busy.

There are other things on rotation in the bag because they don't get as much action.  
Such as:

Melissa and Doug 'Paint with Water' sheets + a paintbrush
(This was at a church pew!)

Workbooks are a hit-or-miss (they are definitely not my favorite kind of play)
Crayola mosaic sticker activities - after just one trip she lost patience interest.

Soft-cover books are a cheap godsend - now these get a lot of action.
Adorably brilliant Taro Gomo doodle placemats gifted by her Ninang.
I'll save these for when she's a better drawer since she's not so interested yet.

I love that the adults get in on the action, too.

Here's her favorite Tito Santi hunkering down with her zoo as the adults finished lunch.
He's a little too good if you ask me.  That lion and bat are insane.

Of course I am told that a sibling would be another solution that would work just as well.

Sibling.. Art Bag.. Sibling.. Art Bag...?


  1. Sibling!

    Look at that little leftie with her scissors-- so cute! Lucky Tito Santi gets all the lurve. =)

  2. I really like the mix of materials you put in the bag! The washi tape and price stickers are a great idea. Pinned!

  3. Sibling sibling!! Hahaha!! :D
    Ladybug girl.. You r suuuuper cute!! So happy to see you and your activities! I'll keep this in mind, thanks to you and your momma! ;)



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