Busy Bags are fun all-in-one activities that keep little hands busy and learning without tons of attention from mom. Many moms love to use them for keeping the kids busy while prepping dinner while others bring them to the doctor’s office. But when we organized our recent Busy Bag exchange this summer, moms were really thrilled to use them to keep the kids quiet on road trips and flights across the country.
While it’s easy to make your own busy bags, it’s a real time and money saver to host a busy bag swap. Instead of making 10 different busy bags, you can make 10 of the same busy bags, get together with friends and swap. When you’re finished, you’ll all leave with great activities to keep your children busy and learning.
Organizing a Busy Bag Swap
Some of the moms preferred to meet in the evening without the kids, so we scheduled an evening swap at my church. I set a date and a time that would work for most of us.
We then created a Facebook event and invited everyone from MOPS and other moms in the community. I asked the moms to RSVP and list the item they wanted to bring so that there would be no duplicates.
I contacted moms from my local MOPS group, so we knew all of our activities would be geared towards pre-schoolers from about ages 2-4. If you want, you can actually focus on an even smaller age range, like just 2 year olds or only 4 year olds.
I requested that all busy bags be placed in zip-top bags, the kind that have an actual plastic zipper, so that little hands could open and close the bags without any help from mommy.
You can also require lamination if you want, but we didn’t want to add anymore to our to-do lists. Still, some activities like the lacing cards were laminated, which is nice!
Then we met up for less than an hour and swapped bags! All of the bags were organized neatly on a table, so we each just walked by and grabbed one of each bag. My kids missed me during the hour that I was gone, but they were thrilled when I walked in the door with fun games just for them!
The Busy Bags
My kids love Busy Bags! I keep all of the bags in a basket, and my toddler loves to pull them out. He grabs one, plays with it for a while, then cleans up everything and picks out another bag. One day last week, my 4 year old went to a friend’s house to play. My 2 year old spent an entire hour playing with busy bags while we cleaned the house for the last minute house guests who were arriving that evening.
I’m hearing great things from other moms too. One mom took all of the busy bags and placed them into zipper pouches. She put the zipper pouches in a binder so that her 3 year old could play with the busy bags on a flight across the country. Smart mama!
We’re definitely going to do another swap, though we’re thinking of including the kids next time with possibly a play date at McDonalds or somewhere else. I was happy to hear moms talking about “next time” before we even left the first busy bag swap!
Don’t forget to sign up for the giveaway & check out the other posts in our Summer Series: Beat the Boredom! The Ultimate Mid-Summer Survival Guide & Giveaway.
Want more busy bag inspiration? Check out my busy bag board on Pinterest!
Have you made busy bags? What were your kids’ favorite activities? Do you have any suggestions for organizing another swap?