Busy Bags a hit for Boys and Girls Club of Northwest Colorado
Beware, Craig parents, if you’re picking up a Busy Bag from the Boys and Girls Club: The science experiments are coming.
Tanya Ferguson, unit director of the Boys and Girls Club of Northwest Colorado, continues to look for ideas to put into bags of activities they’ve handed out since the coronavirus shut down the club and basically anything else fun, even school (and yes, some kids do think school is fun).
Last week they took an idea from Michaels, the arts and crafts chain: 100 crafts you can do with 10 supplies. They supplied the 10 supplies. That seems fun and harmless, right? Well, they’re always looking for new ideas, and the weather is growing nicer, so…
“Maybe we will have seeds in a pot, and maybe they can grow plants or something,” Ferguson said.
Or maybe the kids will get bug catchers and bubbles, or clay, or something for Mother’s Day. Or maybe something a bit more devious.
Busy Bags began because Ferguson and the staff at the Boys and Girls Club were at a loss, said Dana Duran, executive director of the Boys and Girls Club of Northwest Colorado, after the coronavirus shut down everything in what seemed like two days.
“This happened so fast, and we were just reaching out and looking for ways to connect,” Duran said. “We closed but the kids still needed something to do, and parents also need a break.”
Ferguson gathered some toys left over from last Christmas’ event and handed them out to parents during school lunch distribution. Other agencies caught wind of it and wanted to participate, including Safe Care at Northwest Colorado Health, Connections 4 Kids and the Moffat County Library, and that turned into Busy Bags.
Now Ferguson and those collaborators, including board members of Connections 4 Kids, decide what goes in the bags. That varies between games, activities and crafts, but there’s really one constant theme, Duran said, and that’s to get the kids away from a screen, especially now that they’re forced to take school over Zoom and the Internet.
“I think something different than anything virtually, honestly,” Duran said. “The idea is to get them to do something besides being on a computer.”
The 120 bags are available every Wednesday at the school lunch pickup sites of the Early Childhood Center and Sandrock and Ridgeview elementary schools and are available for everyone regardless of income, even those who aren’t getting a school lunch.
The Boys and Girls Club will continue the bags probably until the first of June, when the club should open again. Once the club does open, they will stop giving out the bags.
“I’m hoping we will be face to face with kids soon,” Ferguson said.
Ferguson, after all, does get a little tired of putting together 120 bags every week. But she also enjoys finding new ways to entertain the kids. She hopes to put a science experiment in there next week.
“Maybe a bottle of soda and some Mentos,” Ferguson said and laughed. “But the parents might hate me if I do that one.”
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