Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Busy Bags!

I was recently invited to be a part of a busy bag exchange for little B and I thought I'd share the fruits of my labor with you all! What's a busy bag exchange? It's were a group of people with little ones roughly the same age commit to a small DIY project of creating something for your little darling to play with. The rules are simple:
  • A busy bag is a ziploc bag contatining an activity for your child to enjoy either with you or on their own. It is a form of creative occupation. It may be educational or may not.
  • Self-contained. This way, you can just grab a bag and GO! (without having to add a number of supplies to the bag in order to make it useful.)
  • Transportable. Yes, they will definitely be used at home, but I want to be able to grab a few bags to take to a restaurant, a waiting room, plane trips, car rides, etc.
  • Convenient. None of the bags will have supplies that require major set-up or clean-up: (no paint, watercolors, liquids, sand, dirt, etc.)
  • Inexpensive. This shouldn't cost an arm and a leg!
  • Easy to Make: Do not spend hours making your bag.
  • Re-usable. These activities are meant to last a while so that our other children can use them in the future. Therefore, avoid activities where you would have to buy new supplies to re-stock the bag. This is why lamination is important for some of the activities.

I chose the I-Spy bottle idea from this website. I had some trouble with the sand and the plastic bottle. One type of sand would cloud up the inside of the bottle making it hard to see into. The other type would stick to the bottle despite the bottle being bone dry. So I ended up finding some glass spice jars at the dollar store. This makes my project one for "adult supervision" so the child doesnt smash the glass on the floor, but other than that, it was a success!

Yes, I wrote the poem  myself based on the contents of the jar! :) On the back of the tag is a "Find Me" list of items to search for

So, once everyone has signed up, you will make that number of busy bags. Our group had 15 people commit. Everyone drops their bag off at the organizer's house. That person then divides all the bags up (1 to each mama) and then re-distributes them, so everyone got back 15 different "bags".

Here is everything we received in return:

So many fun ideas and easy games for on-the-go!

We had such a great time participating in this project that I definitely recommend it to anyone that's in any sort of playgroup. It's quick and easy, and you can really benefit from others' creativity!

To get busy bag ideas you can simply Google "Toddler busy bags" but here are a list of websites that were drawn from for some of the above projects:

3. Cupcake Magnetic Puzzle-
4. Colorful Flowers-
5. Homemade Stringing Beads-
6. Pool Noodle Pattern Threading-  
19. Picture # 4- Brown Bear Heads and Tails Match- (downloadable pictures- print in color or color them yourself)
20. Mini Sensory Board-

1 comment:

  1. E loves to excitedly shake his I Spy Bottle. I love how this and many of the other activities will grow with our little ones. Right now the bottle is just fun to shake and turn, but by next summer, they will be looking for the yellow flower. Thanks again for all of your hard work with this project Kristin!