I’m blessed to have an amazing group of mommy-friends in my area. We are part of the same faith community and have little ones around the same age, so we see each other at least once week, and often more than that.
A while ago, we decided to try a busy-bag exchange. The idea is, that each of us would make a quiet activity to keep a toddler occupied. These bags would be great to take along to church, to play with at home on a
rainy freezing day, or at any time when you want your little one occupied with something meaningful and quiet. We also wanted the activities to be fairly inexpensive to put together. So, we each picked an activity to do and after a month or so, we met together to exchange the bags. There were 5 of us involved, so each of us would make 5 of the same activity. Then we met together for a pot-luck appetizer lunch and gave each mom one of our activities and got one from her. So we would each leave with 5 different activities. These are the activities that we made:
I made a button-snake. This is a good fine motor activity ,and also prepares little one to do up buttons.
My sister-in-law made foam number cards with with the corresponding number of circles on each card. They came with gemstones that you can put on the cards to learn numbers and counting.
One friend made a colour-sorting activity. There are four bowls in different colours and a variety of items that can be put into the bowls and sorted by colour.
Another friend made this “I spy” bottle. It’s a bottle of rice with different objects that can be found in it by turning the bottle in different ways and thus moving the contents around. Among the different items in here are beads that have letters on them which spell out the child’s name. She printed off a list of the the hidden items and attached it to the bottle. The bottle cap is sealed with glue so that it can’t be opened and that way it is safe for little ones.
And yet another friend made this popsicle-stick-shape activity. The shapes are laminated, and they are each a different colour. The popsicle sticks are coloured to go with the shapes. They have a little piece of velcro on each end so they can be stuck together to make the different shapes.
Here is Mr. Monkey, working on the colour-sorting activity. He really enjoys these busy bags. He caught onto the colour-sorting really well. At first he was working hard at sorting the colours, and then he kind of gave up and just mixed them all together. He also really enjoys just playing with pom-poms and craft things in general.
And here is Mr. Monkey doing his goofy smile for the camera.
Doing a busy bag exchange was fun! I got my inspiration for this exchange from here.
I really recommend trying a swap like this. Have you tried one? Would you like to get together with some friends to do such an exchange?