Have you heard of busy bags? Busy bags are quick, independent activities that preschoolers can do on their own (or with limited guidance) to keep them busy for a few minutes. They’re great for quiet time, or any time you need something constructive for your little ones to work on (like while you’re making dinner!)
They’re usually stored in a gallon zip-top bag and aren’t very expensive to make. So why host a busy bag swap? Because it is much easier to make 8 of the same bag and switch with friends, than buy more supplies than you need to make a bag for just one kid.
I feel like I am a bit obsessed lately. I had two swaps so far, one with each of my Meetup groups and they were both great. I made our bags (yes I made two different things each time, though I guess I didn’t really have to) and received a nice variety of new bags for Rayna to use. I feel like having another one with yet another group of friends, so I thought I’d share just how easy it is, so you can do it too!
1. Reach out to your mom friends – First you need to find out if there’s interest. If you’re in a moms group on Meetup, then ask in the message board if people are interested. If most of your mom friends are on facebook, than send a message to them (and you could always open it up to their friends too, if you need more people) and see who’s interested. Be sure to include links to what busy bags actually are, so those who have never heard of it can check it out beforehand.
2. Decide on the number of bags to swap. I limited mine to 8 people (including myself), but you could definitely do it with less or more. More than 8 might be overwhelming, but that’s just my opinion! Send out your invites with your # limit, and ask everyone to state what bag they are bringing, so you don’t have anything super similar.
3. Make your own bags….obviously
4. Welcome your friends for the swap. You can host a play date at your house, like I did, or you could meet in the park or even at a Mom’s Night Out get-together. The kids don’t really need to be there for the actual swapping. If you’re doing your swap with friends from church, a civic group, or anything similar, then you could just spend a few minutes afterwards to swap bags. This is the easy part! I found laying them out on a table and having everyone take one of each was the easiest way. You could also have bags set up with everyone’s names on them and people can put one of their bags in each.
5. Enjoy having some new tricks up your sleeve when you are looking for something for your little one to do!
It’s really very easy; the hardest part will be accommodating schedules and deciding what bags to make. The bags that I made were the velcro sticks pictured above and pool noodle lacing. For more ideas on bags to make, you can check out the sites below, or my Pinterest board for Busy Bags.
What do you think of busy bags? Let me know if you are going to do a swap of your own!