The fact that it's a bag is only half of the story. The other half is that it's actually a blanket! I took some of Isaac's old receiving blankets and cut them into 12"x12" squares and sewed them together for a 36 inch square blanket. I cut 18 squares total for two sides. I strategically sewed on some velcro strips in order to make pockets for the toys. Then, I sewed on some straps. Here's a picture breakdown of how the blanket turns into a bag. First, the bottom side opposite the strap folds up. And there you can see the other strap. Then the right side comes over so the short velcro strips match up. Then the left side. Then just fold in half so that straps meet. Here's a close-up of how the velcro makes pockets. Why did I make it you ask? Here's the reason:
I was talking to my friend Andrea one day about how the time when I'm making dinner is always the hardest for Isaac. As soon as he sees any food, starvation hits him and he starts crying and whining, and pulling at me right there in the kitchen. It's not only frustrating, but not safe for Isaac when sometimes I'm in and out of the oven and the fridge, and he's in all the cabinets, and on and on and on. And whenever I took him out of the kitchen, he would wail and only come back in. She said that she had taught her son, Benjamin, about "blanket time". This is a time when Ben would sit on his blanket and play with special (not out all the time) toys until daddy came home or until meals were ready or really anytime that he needed to be confined without being imprisoned in his crib or pack-n-play. I thought this was a great idea and couldn't wait to start teaching Isaac. But being crafty, I just had to make my own blanket for him. The straps are so that the blanket can be an on the go blanket and the pockets are to put the toys in. Now that Isaac is walking, it's hard to keep control of him at other people's houses, especially those that aren't baby proofed. So this technique doesn't just work at home, but at friend's houses too. It took about a week to teach Isaac the concept. The first few days required ALOT of bringing him back and ALOT of crying, but then he got it. And now, as soon as I say "blanket time", he happily comes and sits. The "happily" part really does change from day to day though:) We even have started using the blanket for Bible time everyday.
Thanks Andrea for the great idea! What would we do without other moms to help us in our mommy journey!