Sunday, May 6, 2012

Busy Bag Swap

*THIS SWAP IS FULL* please subscribe to this blog to receive news when another one is available.  

I have been looking for a busy bag swap.  I have been scouring the internet for almost a year and every time I sign up for one, or find one, I am too late or never get an email.  Update:  I did get an email back!  YAY!!!  But she's not sure when she will be hosting another one.  :(  So, I am going to host a swap.  Estimated cost is around $50.  And that includes shipping to me, shipping to the other moms, cost of your bag and a registration fee.

What is a Busy Bag Swap?
A busy bag swap can be be explained like this:  A mom, (you) makes 20 bags of ONE of the activities below to teach and entertain children and then we swap them.  So for example, one family picks the button sorting bowls.  They buy enough supplies to make 20 sorting kits and make up the kits.  Then they send it to me where I divide up their kits and the kits of the 19 other moms.  Each family will receive 19 new busy bag kits in the mail or picked up from me, if they're local.  They will receive one of their own kits back.

Why am I charging a registration fee?  Because after spending hours researching busy bags, I have found that 90% of the swaps have one.  The reason is this: because there is some mommy out there, that has the best intentions of following through with their bags, but suddenly their hubby lost his job and now they are moving.  And her busy bag swap is laid to the side to care for more important things.  Which are completely understandable!  So the registration fee covers her busy bags that I will make and send out with your boxes.  Registration is limited to the first twenty people who register.  If you are LOCAL to Cheyenne, Wyoming, you may drop off your busy bags to me by June 20th and when they are ready for pick up, I will email you to come pick your box.  Please use the second link to register if you are local to Cheyenne ONLY. 

Here is the break down:
Registration fee is $15
Shipping to me: around $11
Shipping back to you: $11
Cost of bags to create: $15 (this is just an estimate.)

Here are the rules:

To Register:
Click this * link * to make your payment via PayPal if you are NOT local.   Included in this payment is the registration fee and the cost of shipping the bag out to you.  If you are ARE local to Cheyenne, please use this * link *.   It only includes the registration fee.  Please note that you MUST commit to dropping off your bags and picking up the swaps.  With both types of registry please include in the notes to seller, list what are your top five bags that you'd like to make.

Once Your Registered:
I will send you an email, notifying you which bag you will be making once the registration closes.  Please make 20 identical bags.  I am also asking that you do the same level of quality that you would like to receive.  I know how important it is that these bags withstand a high level of play with quality products.  I understand that many are doing this on a budget.  When choosing your top five bags, please consider the cost that each bag would be.  I am welcoming packaging your bags in any super adorable way that you can come up with.  I will be putting them in gallon sized freezer bags, but if you'd like to make them look cute, please feel free!

Registration closes on May 31st, 2012.

Your boxes MUST be to me by June 20th.  Once I get everyone's boxes of busy bags in, I'll ship them out to all the registrants.  

List of Bags to Chose From:

Ribbon Rings (or wooden sorting bowls)  Ribbon rings are closed.
After looking how much those wooden sorting bowls are I wanted to give another option.  I found some bowls * here * for a good price.  You need the 1.5" bowls for this project.  
Please use real ribbon for this project and not the cheapo paper ribbon that this photo shows.
I found the rings * here * for a great price!

Felt Pizza
Please buy good quality felt.  The stuff from Hobby Lobby, Michaels and Jo Anns pulls and stretches a lot. I found a good quality set * here * for you to look at.  I'm pretty sure that you would only need one set to complete this whole project.  But feel free to convo the shop owner for more.

Felt Clothes Line
Please buy good quality felt.  The stuff from Hobby Lobby, Michaels and Jo Anns pulls and stretches a lot. I found a good quality set * here * for you to look at.  I'm pretty sure that you would only need one set to complete this whole project.  But feel free to convo the shop owner for more.

Pom Pom Sorter
(please take GREAT care in making sure your holes are smooth.  These sorters will be used with children under 2 years old.)

Spin & Spell
(This can be used for letter recognition at first and then moved to actually spelling words.)

Color Sorter

Number Boards

Lulu the Ladybug Game
Please use good quality felt for this project. The stuff from Hobby Lobby, Michaels and Jo Anns pulls and stretches a lot. I found a good quality set * here * and * here * for you to look at. 

Felt Rainbow
Please buy good quality felt.  The stuff from Hobby Lobby, Michaels and Jo Anns pulls and stretches a lot. I found a good quality set * here * for you to look at.  I'm pretty sure that you would only need one set to complete this whole project.  But feel free to convo the shop owner for more.

I Spy Bottle
The bottles used here are glass VOSS water bottles.  But I am sure that you could find different bottles.  I am hunting right now to find some empty bottles.

Cloud Dough
(Please include enough to fit inside a quart sized mason jar.  Package this anyway you'd like.  Cute is always welcome!)

Rainbow Rice
(Please use common sense if this activity is a little above your child's ability.  Always use supervision when small parts and pieces are involved.  Feel free to get creative on how you package these.  One color per bag or mix and match colors!)  Please include a quart sized storage bag, generously filled.  Feel free to include a few trinkets with this bag.

 Chalk Blocks or Pipe Cleaner Sorter
Pipe Cleaner Sorter is CLOSED
 I found some blocks for a decent price * here *.   You need the 1 3/4" or 2" blocks for this project.  The price difference between the two makes me lean more towards the 1 3/4" blocks.  Please include a few pieces of chalk in this bag.  I had someone ask if I would mind changing this bag because of the cost.  So here's what I am going to do, if you would like to make this bag, you are more than welcome to, but I am also going to post another option for this one.  :)
Button Snake
Please include 10-15 different felt shapes with this bag.

ABC Tracing Book
(I have purchased the pdf file for this one.  Whoever gets this bag, I will email you the file and all you need to do is laminate and add the rings.)
 Sewing Cards
(Please include a bit of twine like she has with your bags.  Remember we are asking for quality that can withstand LOTS of play.)  Please include 4-5 different shapes with each bag.  You can find the twine * here * that she used.

(This activity is geared towards slightly older kiddos, but this can also be enjoyed by our younger ones, by making it a mommy & me activity.)  Please include five sheets of paper (or more) when completing your bags.
Texture Cards
Please include at least ten different textures with your bag.

I am about half way filled for this swap!  If you share this page, it will fill faster and I will get everyone's to-do project sooner!  I am SO excited to see everyone's bags!  I will be photographing everyone's bags and if you have a blog, I would love to feature you!  I am also taking applicants to be guest bloggers, as well!  Please check the contact me page for more information.

Please subscribe to this blog to receive the most up to date information regarding this swap and additional swaps.  I have been asked to do several different swaps, so I will be announcing when these are on this blog. 


  1. The chalk blocks as pictured would cost at least $100 to make as pictured. It would cost nearly $100 for 180 of the smaller blocks, then you would need to purchase paint and chalk.

    Both the wooden rings and sorting bowl activities would also be rather pricey.

    Would you consider removing the pricier activities (perhaps saving them for a swap where all of the activities are higher quality wood) and substituting two other activities that could be made for under $25?

    My guess is that more people will be eager to participate if all of the activities are more similar in cost. I certainly would jump at the opportunity to participate if those two activities were changed.

    1. I was thinking about changing them if there were someone who wanted them to be changed. I put them on there just in case there were someone who really wanted to make them. By no means would I stick someone with something that costs that much, unless they wanted it. I was going to pick up whatever one didn't get chosen. I will look around and give another option. I am going to leave it up just in case there is someone who would like to do it. If it ends up not being in the swap, someone can still make it on their own for their own kids! Thank you so much for voicing your thoughts!

  2. Thank you for your quick response! I was feeling that someone would have to spend several times what most of the other participants would contribute and some of us would end up feeling guilty while others ended up feeling shorted. I feel much more comfortable knowing that you are flexible about those activities. I think I'll sign up now.

    1. Absolutely! I added the new project directly under the chalk blocks. :) I'm so glad that you will be joining us!

  3. I am glad you are open about changing some activities, I am excited to be part of this. I have been calling around (my Uncle does wood work) and trying to find either the blocks or the bowls for the activities for under $30 seems impossible. I have been looking on my board at Pinterest for ideas too. Nancy