Mummy Stuff - Busy Bag Swap!

Last year a friend of mine organised a 'Busy Bag Swap!' Busy Bags are activities that, depending on the age and ability of your child or children, can be done independently, and generally quietly. They are also excellent for developing fine motor control and creativity in kids. The busy bag swap was a fantastic idea, where we all created 1 activity (x14 as this was how many were participating), placed them in snap lock bags, and met up and shared our creations. Instead of creating 14 different activities (which could have been time-consuming, and costly, though it doesn't need to be), we were able to share the load, and receive a variety of busy bags! 

The busy bag swap is simple to set-up - my friend used a Facebook event, and added lots of mummas, and asked for expressions of interest. Those that were interested remained in the group, and using Pinterest and Google, we all found an activity we wanted to create, and let the group know so that we didn't double up. The date for the meet-up was set about 2 months in advance, so that we had plenty of time (something which can be in short supply being a mum!) We met up at a park, where the kids were able to play, and the adults could swap the bags and have a chat! 

I purchased a cheap tub from The Reject Shop to store Miss M's busy bags. It has enough room for me to create more in the future (or if we decide to have another swap!) At 13 months, a lot of the bags are beyond her ability yet, but I have chucked in some magnetic letters she enjoys sticking on the fridge. 

Here are all the bags:

On the top row, from L-R are: 
 - magnetic letters ($5 from Kmart)
 - a memory game (made using images, a printer and a laminator)
 - a matching game (using a printer, laminator, mini whiteboard marker)

On the bottom row, L-R:
 - a threading activity (using a variety of beads and pipe cleaners)
 - a wool drawing activity (using sandpaper and wool)
 - a colour matching activity (using coloured paper, a printer, laminator and pegs)

On the top row, L-R:
 - a threading activity using ribbon and coloured paper (laminated) with punched holes
 - a threading activity using balls with holes and pipe cleaners
 - an 'ice cream' colour matching activity (using coloured paper and paddle pop sticks)

On the bottom row, L-R:
 - paddle pop sticks with magnets (can be used to create pictures on the fridge)
 - pipe cleaners and printed shapes (can be used to create the shape using the pipe cleaners)
 - washing line activity (using a thick bit of string, pegs, and felt 'clothing' - kids can create a washing line and 'hang out the washing')

 - a threading activity (using a printed picture with punched holes, and pipe cleaners)
 - a picture matching activity (using printed laminated pictures)
 - a playdough creation activity (using printed pictures and playdough)

I was so impressed with all the different and interesting activities everyone came up with, and can't wait until Miss M is a little bit older and can enjoy them! My friends with older kids have all said that they love them! 

For more busy bag ideas, check out 'Organising the Four of Us' blog post - click here

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