Thursday, August 30, 2012

The AMAZING Busy Bag Swap

I've recently become addicted to Busy Bags, and I'll tell you why.  Busy Bags are activities that can be stored in ziplock bags and brought out when the need for a quiet, peaceful activity arises.  Moms can use Busy Bags almost anywhere--during the wait at a restaurant, in church, in waiting rooms, or while they need to be helping an older/younger sibling and need something to entertain their other child with.  Kids love Busy Bags because they can choose new and entertaining activities, and moms love that their children are being active and entertained instead of bored and listless.  You really can't go wrong with Busy Bags!

Last month, I attended my very first Busy Bag Swap, hosted by a friend of mine.  Ten of us mothers of young children prepared ten sets of the same activity and then got together for a park day to swap the Busy Bags that we had made.  I came home with ten new activities for Kayleigh to play with, and I thought it was just the best thing ever.

And then I thought about all of you, and all of the creative minds we have together in this community.  How much fun would it be to do a Busy Bag Swap with you?  It takes a little more effort and organization on the hostess's end, but I think it will be so much fun, and I can't wait to get started!

How does a Busy Bag Swap across the Blogosphere work?  Well, honestly, I haven't seen it done anywhere else.  We might be piloting something brand new here, and I think that's super cool.  Are you with me?

Here is what I'm thinking:  for the next few weeks, I just want to collect interest and find out how many moms, teachers, aunties, and grandmas want to be involved.  The more, the merrier!  And we're gonna have a blast.  Once I know how many participants we will have, I will organize them into groups of 5-10 people who are interested in making Busy Bags for the same age group (for example, if you have a 2 year old, I will group you with other moms of toddlers so that when the Busy Bags are mailed to you, all of the activities will be age-appropriate).

Once you know how many people will be in your group, you can begin making your Busy Bag activity.  An activity can be as simple as making a counting activity with beans and cardstock like this:

Or as intricate and lovely as making felt pieces like this:

Over the past few weeks, I've been scouring the internet for Busy Bag ideas.  I've collected them all on this Pinterest Board to make it easy for you to find inspiration.  Feel free to look through it, repin things, and come up with a fun activity!

We'll cover more of the details as we find out how many people will be participating, but here is some of the important info:
  • Each person can plan to make between 5-10 of the same Busy Bag
  • Depending on your child's age, you can participate in the INFANT/TODDLER Group  (under 2 years old), the PRESCHOOL Group (2-3 years old), or PRE-K (4-5 years old)
  • Once the groups are established and your Busy Bag sets are made, you can mail your set to me (with a few dollars for S/H so that I can mail a complete set back to you).
    • I have to do research to find out how much it will cost to mail the fully assembled Busy Bags, but I can promise you that it will not be more than $5.
  • I will organize the Busy Bags that I receive into complete sets for each age group and mail them back to each participant.
  • Once you receive your package, you will have brand new, educational and age-appropriate activities for your child to enjoy!

I'm looking forward to hearing from you!  This is going to be a blast!


  1. Hmmm....I thought I left a comment a few days ago. I am interested....Christian is almost 4 and a half years old...we would be in the pre-k group. I totally understand if you do not get anyone in this age group. I did alot of stuff like this for Cody when he was a fiddler and saved them for Christian. Let me know if anyone else is interested in the pre-k group. Thanks.

    1. You did! There were several comments, and then they all disappeared. I don't know what happened :( I think I still have some bugs to work out with my new comment platform. Sorry about that!

      I have you down for the Pre-K group, and I'm working hard to find others to join :) If you would like to pass on the info to friends, I'd appreciate it!

      Thanks, Lisa!

  2. Totally interested! I sort of do this anyways, but not nearly as cool, so I can't wait to delve deeper and come up with my own and see what other people do, too! Eep! So excited!!

    1. That's great, Heather! I'm excited to have you join! Will you send me an email with your info so that I can add you to the list? Thanks! Spread the word :)

  3. I am surprized that my favorite totally free idea is not part of any busy bag that I saw. Perhaps its an old idea? I take the front off of cereal boxes (or for that matter any kind of food box that children recognize) and make them into puzzles. It is so simple and cost nothing but a couple minutes of time. Depending on skill you can cut into large pieces at first and then as they become better, cut a large piece into smaller pieces. I have also used the back side of these same panels and marked the childs name written out. That puzzle I cut in strips rather than random shapes. So many things you can do and as, I said, FREE...if they loose a piece, oh well, time to make another.

    1. That's a wonderful idea, thank you! We always have plenty of cardboard boxes waiting to be reused/recycled!

  4. Bethany-

    I just heard about busy bags last week and i am totally interested. Let me know if I am not too late. If I am, keep me in mind if you do this again. I have two boys, 1.5 and 3. Thanks!
    Becky Westerhouse


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