Busy Bag Exchange

In my quest to prepare for fall homeschooling, (of a 3rd grader and a 1st grader) while I have a 1 year old and a 2 year old, I started doing research on busy bags.  Did anyone else think that they would be way too much work for way too little play? Who else’s kids would just be as content to play with pots and pans and card board boxes?  I’m not a lone- let me feel the love here– right? So I dismissed making them even though I occasionally love to channel the inner Martha [Stewart] in me. Anyway- the more I got on pinterest the more I found super cute and simple ideas that even if my 2 year old dismissed, they’d be great car travel bags that would occupy him on the trek to my parents (1 hour drive).  I found:

via and

 Putting the right amount of beads on numbered pipe cleaners.

via and

sewing table - I need to try this. So lovely.

 via

So I started collecting ideas (pinning ideas- sorry to all my pinterest followers! probably tired of seeing all the education pins!!) and realized there was no way I could make a dozen or so of these super crafty ideas in time or in a cost effective way.  So I decided to get my other crafty friends together and do an exchange!

I  typed a spread sheet of activities and linked the websites and provided pictures for reference.  I asked the moms to sign up for a skill set (like colors, motor, numbers) and use the activities or come up with some of their own to include. The only requirement was that they have 2-4 activities in their busy bag.  Oh- and of course, they had to make as many bags as there were moms participating.  In this case it was 11 moms.

We’re at the signing up stage but I will keep you posted when the exchange happens… and give you feedback should you try to do this Busy Bag Swap for yourself.

Sign Up Skill Activity Link Variations/notes
Bag 1 Counting Counting Leprechaun Gold http://secondstorywindow.typepad.com/home/2012/02/march-busy-bag-counting-leprechaun-gold.html use felt for gold coins
Numbers Flip Book http://secondstorywindow.typepad.com/home/2011/10/toddler-time-busy-bag-exchange-part-3-freebie.html scroll to find your activity in the list of activities on this blog post
Q Tip Counting Trays http://secondstorywindow.typepad.com/home/2011/10/toddler-time-busy-bag-exchange-part-3-freebie.html beads may be a choking hazard/could use foam peanuts
scroll to find your activity in the list of activities on this blog post
Bag 2 Numbers Number Wheel http://secondstorywindow.typepad.com/home/2011/10/toddler-time-busy-bag-exchange-part-3-freebie.html could make numbers on one side, animals on the other side
Clothes Pin Matching http://secondstorywindow.typepad.com/home/2011/10/toddler-time-busy-bag-exchange-part-3-freebie.html
Bag 3 Numbers Animal Counting Cards http://secondstorywindow.typepad.com/home/2011/10/toddler-time-busy-bag-exchange-part-3-freebie.html scroll to find your activity in the list of activities on this blog post
Beads and Pipe Cleaners http://www.rockabyebutterfly.com/2012/02/hands-on-counting-activities.html
Bag 4 Motor Clothesline-Doing the Laundry http://secondstorywindow.typepad.com/home/2011/10/toddler-time-busy-bag-exchange-part-3-freebie.html
Wacky Sacks (playdough inside a balloon) http://www.somewhatsimple.com/wacky-sacks/ scroll to find your activity in the list of activities on this blog post
Burlap Sewing http://kleas.typepad.com/kleas/2012/02/something-new-at-the-preschool.html Could make shape cards for kids to repeat by stitching the shape
Bag 5 Sorting/Motor Sorting http://joyfullyweary.blogspot.com/2012/01/quick-and-easy-diy-alphabet-game.html use ice cube trays from the dollar store. Could do any type of sorting- not exclusive to ABC’s
Pool Noodle Lacing http://secondstorywindow.typepad.com/home/2011/10/toddler-time-busy-bag-exchange-part-3-freebie.html scroll to find your activity in the list of activities on this blog post
Bag 6 Sorting/Motor Button Snake http://engagingtoddleractivities.wordpress.com/2011/08/03/button-snakes/ could make various shapes, include sorting/pattern cards
Pushing Pom Poms Puff Balls http://engagingtoddleractivities.wordpress.com/2010/04/28/homemade-toy-pushing-puff-balls/# could use the First Years take and toss with lids or old tupperware
Bag7 ABCs/Shapes A-Z Clothespin Cards http://secondstorywindow.typepad.com/home/2011/10/toddler-time-busy-bag-exchange-part-3-freebie.html scroll to find your activity in the list of activities on this blog post
Shape and Color Memory http://secondstorywindow.typepad.com/home/2011/10/toddler-time-busy-bag-exchange-part-3-freebie.html scroll to find your activity in the list of activities on this blog post
Spin and Spell (preschool, 3 and 4 yr. olds) http://secondstorywindow.typepad.com/home/2011/10/toddler-time-busy-bag-exchange-part-3-freebie.html scroll to find your activity in the list of activities on this blog post
Bag 8 Color Color Wheel http://planetoftheapels.blogspot.com/2011/09/busy-bag-swap-day-13-color-counting.html could  make two sided wheel.  Other side numbers, shapes, etc.
Rainbow Pom Poms http://www.rockabyebutterfly.com/2011/03/st-patricks-and-rainbow-activities.html several rainbow variation activities on this blog post
Popsicle Color Match http://secondstorywindow.typepad.com/home/2011/10/toddler-time-busy-bag-exchange-part-3-freebie.html scroll to find your activity in the list of activities on this blog post
9 Miscellaneous Silly Faces http://planetoftheapels.blogspot.com/2011/09/busy-bag-swap-day-8-silly-faces.html this is one activity for one busy box/bag bc of the many cut outs
10  Cupcake Decorating http://planetoftheapels.blogspot.com/2011/09/busy-bag-swap-day-6-cupcake-decorating_05.html this is one activity for one busy box/bag bc of the many cut outs
11
Bean Bag Toss web link not available but I could still get a picture from pinterest.  Concept is easy peasy. You could create this to be a number, color, letter, shape activity and is considered one activity/busy bag bc of it may require a bit more work to make the bean bags.
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