Last Friday, I packed up my kidlets and headed off to our local McDonald’s to meet up with a group of moms & toddlers for a Toddler “Busy Bag” Swap party! The party was the brain child of my friend Jenni who got the initial idea from this blog post. It was an absolute blast and we came home with a bag full of fun little handmade activities that both my girls (aged 4 and 1) loved!
Here’s the idea: a group of moms (we had 11 and I wouldn’t go with any more than that) each picked a different type of busy bag to make (from ideas on the web) and made 11 of the same one. A busy bag is a self-contained activity for a toddler or pre-schooler that’s easy to transport, inexpensive to make, and re-usable. Jenni set our cost limit at $20 for the 11 bags (so it was completely affordable for everyone) and we chatted over Facebook to make sure we didn’t make the same ones.
We met for coffee and a playdate at McDonald’s (who graciously supplied us with free beverages and reserved tables in their newly renovated and cleaned Playplace area – thank you!), laid the bags out on tables, and then we each grabbed one of each of the different busy bags. I was amazed at all of the hard work and creativity that went into these activities – they were all just fantastic.
The result? A super-fun playdate and a whole bunch of unique, new games to play that were made with such thought and attention to detail.
I’d definitely recommend organizing this with a group of your own crafty friends. What a cool idea!
Here are the busy bags we were so happy to come home with (and the links to their tutorials so that you can make them yourself):
Tamara and Heather made these amazing Eye Spy Fish (they partnered on this one since it was more complex).
Candace made this adorable animal matching puzzle with foam sheets, foam stickers and velcro.
Naphtali made these cute Popsicle Stick Puzzles.
Jenni made these fun Lacing Cards.
Robin made this great Mr. Potato Head velcro activity.
Tara made an educational Object Match with Outline game.
Jen made a Pushing Puffballs activity.
Lynn made a wonderful colour matching game from felt.
I made some mini road maps.
Aren’t these all so fun? My girls have already spent several hours playing with these over the weekend, and the best part was that there were activities that were suitable for both of them.
I encourage you to host your own Busy Bag Swap with your crafty mommy friends and see how much fun you (and your kids) will have! Thanks again to my friend Jenni and to McDonald’s in Spruce Grove for making this such a great success!