I belong to a great mother's group. We are a large meetup.com group that hosts play groups, playground visits, museum visits, mother's night outs and more. In the course of any given week there can be 3-5+ events available in which to participate. It is through this group that I hosted a busy bag exchange.
There are numerous resources on line about hosting a busy bag swap. Some in fact down right scared me with their rules, regulations and warnings. I wanted to host something that was low key, but also would be beneficial.
The rules for our exchange were simple:
1. Once you commit to coming you MUST come or have your bags delivered. 2. Create 18 of the same product. ( 18 was the # of mamas we had participating)
3. Spend no more than $2-3 per activity.
4. You do NOT need to laminate papers included. ( Mamas can chose to laminate after we receive it.)
5. Put together the quality of bag you would want to receive in return. This is really important to remember.
6. Put each of your activities in a ziploc-type bag. Label the bag with the name of your activity and include any needed directions.
The rules worked for us and overall we had a great exchange. There were a few slip-ups, but nothing that wasn't worked out.
For this exchange I posted 18 ideas for busy bags - all of which I found online. I listed the link to the activity. Each mama chose their activity from the list of links when they signed up for the swap.
( I linked each activity back to the original website which all include directions.)
Fine Motor Lacing Mat
I found these mats at the Dollar Tree. Included in the busy bag were lengths of ribbons, fabric, and pipe cleaners. It will be perfect for the little ones to weave - great fine motor practice!
( This was my bag. I printed off and laminated the complete alphabet sheets and a personalized sheet with the child's first name. In the busy bag I included one of these dry erase markers.
Our busy bag swap was fabulous not only was it a great night out with some good friends, some wine, and some yummy treats but at the end of the swap we all left with 18 different busy bags.