I have come across several ideas and resources that I want to share with you.  Those of you who live the Western Washington area please respond as soon as possible.

For those of you with small children or are interested in making fun and educational games for preschool age children (grandmothers and auntie’s) I have learned of a great product called Preschool activities in a bag.  This is a two book series created by two moms with busy preschools who were also trying to home educate older children. (For more info and to order your own book visit www.activitybags.com

 Each book contains 25-30 activities to create bags for.  It seems overwhelming to put together that many activity bags.  So the books encourage you to do what is called a swap.  Simply put, let’s say 20 ladies sign up.  Each chooses 1 activity bag.  At that time you will receive instructions, master printout and label for the 1 activity bag you have chosen.  You collect enough materials to make 20 bags for that 1 activity bag and assemble the 20 bags.  When we meet again, you bring your 20 completed bags.  You go home with 19 different bags which along with your bag you will have a complete set of 20 different activities to entertain and educate your preschool aged children. 

See picture below of a swap consisting of 19 ladies.  This picture is from the wonderful blog http://www.homeschoolblogger.com/LeslieNelsen/Workboxes/

activity bags

 Those of you with elementary aged children don’t feel left out.  The same creators of Preschool   Activities in a bag have come up with Science Experiments in a bag for elementary aged children.  This is also a 2 book series with activities for the fields of biology, general science, nature study, chemistry, and the human body.  Each activity is designed to be self-guided by the child with the bags containing everything the child will need to learn about the amazing world that God has created.  A swap for the Science Experiments in a Bag would go the same way as the Preschool Activities in a Bag swap.

 Right now I am simply looking for interest in these swaps.  I hope to have a date in the next few weeks—hosting a swap in July and another in August (just in time for school).  Please let me know if you are interested in joining one or both of the swaps and what days/dates look best for you.  I look forward to swapping bags with you.

 Email me: virlyn@theshelteringtree.org

Call: 360-616-2646

Or if you see me tell me you want to join a swap.

 One thing we mom’s have to do on a regular basis (3 times a day) is cook.  And although most of us enjoy cooking (I for one get joy from cooking—the cleaning is not as joyous;) there are times that we get into a cooking funk, block or we just get too busy.  I was encouraged several years ago by a cooking swap I attended.  Actually I can’t remember what we called up but the concept of the swap mentioned above applies here.  A group of 6 moms got together and not only swapped recipes but we brought the ingredients along with us and went home with 6 different ready made meals (including the one we brought).  There were taken home, popped in the freezer and could be thrown in the oven for a delicious and nutritious meal.  Clean up was a snap because we used aluminum/disposable pans (my kind of cleaning).

 Okay ladies so what do you think?  We can do it several ways

  1. each brings recipe and materials to make that recipe and swap
  2. each brings several recipes, we vote on a few and then purchase materials (splitting the cost) and swap
  3. or a combination of these

 I have not thought the cooking swap as thoroughly as the activity bags but I think we can come up with a good plan and encourage each other with healthy meals.

 Email me: virlyn@theshelteringtree.org

Call: 360-616-2646

Or if you see me tell me you want to join a swap.

 I look forward to getting together with you soon and encourage each other in our wonderful gifts as wives and mothers.

Virlyn Dodge


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