We are a big fan of dance parties in our home. So when I saw paper bags were the next challenge for our Think Outside the Toy Box Summer Series, I started thinking of ways to jazz it up. I wanted an activity that would carry us through the day in several parts, offer some creativity and learning, and then finish off with a crazefest dance party. So what did we make? Paper Bag Maracas!
The best part about this project was that it was literally the cheapest afternoon of fun we’ve ever had. A quick visit to Target to pick up some paper lunch bags along with a few bags of dried beans…I think I spent all of $6 and that included a little Nutella snack pack that I may have purchased and secretly eaten. I didn’t think we could beat out the Plastic Soda Bottle Pirate Ships with a lower cost, but we did!
I did this project in a few steps. Our first activity was to color and decorate the bags. I grabbed a stack from our sticker stash, a few crayons and they set to work. They are old enough now to peel their own stickers, so they were all smiles as they decorated their bags on their own.
Later on in the day, we took the bags out again and I gave them several bowls of different dried beans (I tossed some of our play dry pasta in there as an option too). They got to fill their bags with as much or as little as they wanted, counting and sorting to their little heart’s content. They loved picking out the beans one by one at first, but quickly graduated to fistfuls, loving the sound of the beans dropping into the bags.
Once they were done, I wrapped the edges a few times and secured with a few staples across the top and…cue the dance party! Realizing that the bags really made loud sounds when they shook them was so exciting for the boys and took their crazy laughter and dancing up a notch. I almost couldn’t keep up with the camera! Even our dog Ivy got excited and started doing happy laps around the house.
It was a great day of fun and my next project is to figure out other ways to incorporate dry beans (and lots of leftover paper bags) into other projects. For the paper bags, I’ll be sure to check out my gal pals’ blogs to see how they used them!