Thursday, December 13, 2012

DIY :: A Busy Bag Exchange

A friend of mine recently set up a Busy Bag Exchange for the little tots in our life. While my boys are, for the most part, way beyond Busy Bags, I have a new niece who will need a few in the future. I was pleased the Mommies with littles let me take part; in fact, I had a really great time making my Busy Bags and playing with all the ones they made!

For those new to the Busy Bag concept - A Busy Bag is a small project, puzzle, craft, etc. which captures the attention and fosters learning and creativity of a child. They can be made for any age range, however, I've mainly seen them for the 5 and under group. These items are kept in a gallon sized plastic bag and are brought out throughout the day or on special occasions to help keep a child busy while the caregiver is focused on housework or schooling older children.

How do you host a Busy Bag Exchange? It's simple, really!

First, ask a group of Moms, Aunts, Grandmothers, Sisters, etc. to be a part. My friend used our Church Facebook play group as her inviting forum. She gave us about two weeks to get our bags in order, which was plenty of time.

Have each attendee decide on what kind of Busy Bag they will be making and bringing to the exchange. It's a good idea to let the group know exactly what you are making to reduce duplication.

Keep your group to under 10 people. You can always have another exchange and incorporate new participants, as well as bag ideas.

If you don't have any ideas for Busy Bags, check out Pinterest or Simple Organized Living. The Busy Bag I created was about cupcake decorating. The template for it can be found at Money Saving Mom.

We each made 8 bags for this exchange, with one going to the Church welcome desk for new families to use during the ceremony. We traded out bags with one another one morning at the church.

I came home with some super adorable things - Pop the Popsicle, Stuff it In, Felt Fishing, Eye Spy Bottles, and a wonderfully bound and laminated Play-Doh mat set.

I can't wait to see my niece play with all these items. My youngest has enjoyed giving them the initial playability test!

If you've made a Busy Bag in the past - which has been your child's favorite?

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