July 6, 2011

Toddler Busy Bag Swap

(These are not my pictures. Photo credit & great post HERE.)
UPDATE on 07/13/11: We've had an overwhelming response and so we've had to "close" the Busy Bag Swap.  But don't be discouraged, we're planning on getting this all together so that you can easily organize your own swap in about a month...without all the work!  (Those of you who've emailed us by late last night are "in" and should have heard from Chelsea by now.  We'll be sending you an email with your busy bag assignment over the next few days.)  Thanks for all of the interest!!

Chelsea and I have been talking a lot about Toddler Activity/Busy bags lately.  An activity bag, also sometimes referred to as a "busy bag" is just like it sounds, a gallon Ziplock bag containing a simple activity for your child to do either with you or independently to keep them "busy".  Each activity bag focuses on a type of skill or a combination of skills that promote a love of learning: math, (sorting, patterns, counting) fine motor, color/letter recognition, etc. 

Here's a site that does a good job explaining what they are.  And, after a quick search on pinterest, all sorts of ideas pop up.

As we've been talking we've been saying things like: 

Wouldn't it be nice to have a bunch of simple, already-put-together activities on hand to pull out when needed? 

BUT it would take a lot of time and work to create a variety of activities by yourself.  

Doing it on your own, could also get pretty pricey.  

So, why not join forces with some other mommies and do a swap?!

Here's how it would work:
We have already picked 20, re-usable activities to eliminate duplicates and give your child a variety of skills to keep them "busy". (We're thinking these would mostly be geared for children 18 months and up, though some can be done with much younger children and a lot of the activities can "grow" with the children, where much older children can work on them independently. I'm planning on using these for McKlayne while I attempt to teach Asher to read this year. Oliver will also be able to use them before I know it.) 

Each person will be assembling 20 bags with one identical activity in each bag. (ex: one person would make 20 bags with the button snake activity, pictured above, and another might be making 20 colored noodle necklace bags.)  

We're estimating that each bag should cost around $1-2 to recreate.  (Some may be much cheaper and will just take more time, and others that may cost more, may not take as much time to recreate.)

Want to join us?
1. Email Chels by July 15 (chelsealynngroves@gmail.com) and let her know that you are interested. In your email, please include your child's (children's) name(s) and age(s).  Also, please tell us if you'd like to be assigned something more "simple" or if you'd label yourself as someone who is "crafty" or if you are someone who sews...we promise, it's nothing too advanced!

2. We will then get together and assign each of you an activity to recreate.  (Most of these are so simple that you can figure out what to do or we have a link with a tutorial.)  We'll email you with more dates and details of your activity. 

3. We will allow about a month for everyone to work on their activity and then host a night where we get together and swap so you can take home 20 different bags. 

*We aren't sure if people outside of B/CS will be able to participate because of shipping/handling fees, but please go ahead and email if you are interested. We'll let you know when we come to a decision.


Megan said...

Genius I tell you, GENIUS!!

I already snatched up my spot. :)

The Currie Family said...

what a great idea!! and sad that I don't live next to you crafty, creative people!!!

Angela said...

I would love to participate. I sent an email and would be willing to ship/pay for shipping! Or maybe just take a road trip! ;-)
What a fantastic idea! You are so very talented!

Aaron Quirk said...

i'd love to do this! but i'm in Raleigh - maybe if it was something small i could stuff them into a flat rate box? seems dooable! 2 kids :)

Aaron Quirk said...

and for some reason that posted as my husband! ykes! i promise i'm not some creepy man! :)

Aaron Quirk said...

and i just realized i can't read...holy cow it's been a long day! emailing now :)

Brandy said...

I send an email! Sounds like a great idea!!!


The Vann's said...

Kirby, this is such a great idea! Can I snag this idea to use here in Sugar Land?? I know lots of Mommies who would love this.

The Vann's said...

That would be so great, Kirby. Thank you!!!
My e-mail is carissavann@hotmail.com

Kelsey@inspirationthief said...

I would love to do this were I live. Do you have a copy of the twenty items and your group rules? Any tips for someone wanting to try a swap? What I great idea.

Kirby said...

Kelsey...look under the "Busy Bag Swap" tag here: http://planetoftheapels.blogspot.com/search/label/busy%20bag%20swap

We're only on Day 2 but we'll be featuring 25 over the next 2 weeks. There is also a post titled "Details" that you'll find under that label that gives you details on how to plan your own swap.

Hope that helps! Let me know if you need anything else!

Kelsey@inspirationthief said...

Thank you! I love this project and really appreciate you sharing all the details.

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for sharing. Just successfully hosted my first one earlier this week.