10 Things to do with a paper lunch bag

Do you have brown paper lunch bags laying around? Use them to do these fun activities!

Paper bags provide many opportunities for fun.
Paper bags provide many opportunities for fun.

Summer can be a challenging time to keep kids busy while they are out of school. You probably have some leftover lunch bags in your cupboard from the school year. Use the bags in these fun activities to help keep your kids engaged and learning this summer.

  1. Puppets. Decorate bags with markers, crayons, stickers or anything else you have around the house. Use bags as puppets and have a puppet show.
  2. Feel and guess. Use several bags and put different objects from around the house in them, but don’t show anyone. Have kids reach in the bags without peaking and feel what is inside. Have them describe what the object feels like and guess what the object is. Then pull the object out to see if the guess is right.
  3. Treasure hunt. Hide a “treasure” somewhere in the house or yard and then use the bag to draw a treasure map on it to help children find the object.
  4. Ball toss. Set up several bags around the house or in the yard and use them as baskets to catch balls. See how many balls you can get in the baskets. If you don’t have any balls, you can use rolled up socks.
  5. Mail delivery. Write letters or draw pictures to each other and use the paper bag as a mailbox. Have each person create their own mailboxes that they can check each day.
  6. Masks. Use the paper bag and some scissors to make a mask. Cut out eyes, nose and mouth. Use markers or crayons to decorate the mask. You can use some string tied to both sides of the mask to help keep it on or glue one side to a Popsicle stick for a hand-held mask.
  7. Goal shots. Put the paper bag on the ground with the opening facing you. Use a small ball (golf or ping pong balls work well) and see how many times you can make a goal by rolling the ball into the opening.
  8. Animals. Make paper bag animals by using the paper bag as the body of the animal. Add details using crayons or markers. You can add legs and arms by using pieces of construction paper and gluing them to the paper bag.
  9. Sorting. Put colored paper, or color with crayons or markers, on the front of the bags. Then get some blocks, Legos or other multi-colored toys and sort them into the bags based on colors. You can do this with colors, shapes or sizes.
  10. Construction. Use the paper bags to build a village or town. Use the bags as the outside of the buildings and decorate them using crayons, markers or other pieces of paper. Talk about what buildings are in a town or village.

Paper bags are a fun and easy way to do a variety of different activities with your child this summer to keep them engaged and learning. For more ideas about activities and articles on child development, academic success, parenting and life skill development, please visit the Michigan State University Extension website.

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