Inventive Ways to Use Baggies in the Preschool Classroom
By Tania Cowling
We know that plastic storage bags solve many problems in the home, so using baggies in preschool can have many of the same uses and more. Read on for some fun projects that can be presented with the use of plastic baggies.
These plastic bag projects are sure to please your students. Think about snack bags, collecting nature finds, learn about buoyancy, health kits and more. Below are a few activities; however, the list of ideas is endless!
Make Instant Pudding
This cooking and science activity can be made and eaten from a plastic baggie. It's best to use a self-sealing one for this project. As the child shakes the bag to make the pudding, she is not only learning that several ingredients make a delicious dessert but also that there are changes that take place when ingredients are mixed.
The children will be making individual snacks of pudding with the recipe that serves 8, 1/4 cup servings.
In each baggie put:
1/4 cup milk
1 tablespoon instant pudding mix (note: if you use a pistachio mix, the powder changes from white to green as it mixes with the milk)
What to do:
Securely seal the bag.
Invite the children to hold the bag at the top and bottom using both hands.
Encourage them to shake the baggie for about a minute or until all the pudding is mixed.
Place the baggies in a refrigerator (or cooler with ice) for at least ten minutes.
Give the children their baggies and a plastic spoon to eat the pudding they just made right in the bag.
Children are motivated to work with counting skills because at the end of this lesson, they get to eat a snack, like cookies, crackers, raisins, etc. Look for very small food items at your market to use with this activity.
Give each child 15 snacks and five baggies if you want your students to count from 1 to 5. If you are practicing counting from 1 to 10, each child will need 55 snacks and ten baggies.
The children are to put one food item in the first bag, two in the second bag, three in the third bag, and so on.
Students now place the baggies in front of them on the table.
The teacher asks the children to hold up the bag that contains one, two, three, or more food items in a bag. The teacher can also ask students to place their bags in numerical order.
Sink or Swim
Young children always enjoy activities involving water. This project is no exception and your students may even learn something about buoyancy. Provide an assortment of objects in the classroom (small toys, eraser, feather, corks, etc.). The children are to place one small waterproof object into their self-sealing baggie.
Put this baggie into a pan of water or use the water table. If the bag floats, the children can put in a second object into the baggie. This process continues until the bag sinks.
Talk about which objects let the bag float and which items make the baggie sink. This activity can be done with individual baggies or with one as a class project.
As the weather warms, spring and summer is a wonderful time to take the children on a nature walk. Give them each a baggie to collect small nature finds along the way. Make sure their names are written on the baggie. The best way is to use adhesive name stickers. Young children are fascinated with the many shapes of leaves, rocks, acorns and such. When the walk is over, attach the separate baggies onto a bulletin board entitled, "Look What We Found On Our Nature Walk." When the display is taken down, give the children their baggies to take home. Note: Make sure to leave a portion of the baggie open so the leaves do not get moldy.
If you have a lesson on hygiene, first aid, doctors or dentist, use a baggie to create individual health kits. This is where you can ask medical providers and even parents to donate some of the necessary items for your kit. The kits could contain: Band-aids, travel size bar of soap, small tube of toothpaste, child-size toothbrushes, tissues, etc.
The lesson could explain the importance of cleanliness to health. To avoid having students use their health kits inappropriately, give the kit to a parent or guardian when the child is picked up at the end of the day. In the meanwhile, during class read books about health and color pictures during art class.
Using baggies in preschool is handy. These plastic bags have a variety of uses in the classroom for projects as well as for storage of materials. If you have other plastic baggie projects that you have used in your classroom, please leave a comment at the bottom of this article.