Busy Bag Exchange

So I told you I would let you now how the Busy Bag Exchange went after I shared my contribution to the exchange a few days ago. See more about what I made for the party here.
We got six moms together, one couldn’t make it due to sick little ones, but we still put together a collection of busy bags for her to have. This was a great number. Not too many kiddos and enough space for us to visit, for them to play, and seeing what everyone made was so fun. 
A few of us brought treats to share because what is a party without GREAT FOOD.
On the menu:
Carmel Cheesecake Apple Dip with sliced apples
Broccoli Quiche
Bagels and cream cheese
and Coffee Cake
Oh and don’t forget the hot cider. I don’t think any Fall gathering is complete without it. Stay tuned later this week for my quick easy recipe.
The kids had so much fun and so did the Moms! That is a great party.
One of the Mom’s is in the middle of a lot of life change including a move so she brought 45 piece puzzles as her item. So fun! And proof that ANYONE can do a Busy Bag Exchange.

The Pizza Factory seen here has felt dough, cheese, and toppings and included was one recipe card. The Mom who made this  Busy Bag is also making more recipe cards available to us if we want them. That way the kiddo can learn to count out a variety of toppings for different recipes. 
What a fun way to practice counting!

Next to the pizza factories are the super fun clotheslines. Included was a long strand of string, clothespins and some super fun strips of vintage material for the child to hang up. You KNOW I was excited about a CLOTHESLINE busy bag!

Here you see the puzzles too.

The colorful popsicle sticks have velcro on the ends of them and you can create shapes. 
This is great for practicing shapes, colors and later you could even talk about sides versus corners. (That’s a first grade age concept – which just goes to show these Busy Bags span a variety of ages.)

Beyond that you saw play dough which came with a binder ring of several faces or scenes that asked for the child to add a smile or eyes to the face, apples to the tree or petals to the flower. So many fun things. Each child got a binder ring with different worksheets on it, that were covered in page protectors to be play dough friendly and got to pick two colors of play dough to take home.

On the far right you see my containers that are great for practicing colors or counting. You can ask your child to put the white pipe cleaner through the lid or to put two “sticks,” as we called them with these little ones, into the can. 
They LOVED it! 
And of course that made me feel great.

Here are a few shots of them trying them out…

So, for Cashel, I put away a few of the more advanced Busy Bags and will pull them out as one gets easy or “boring.” I figure this could be hours of entertainment, especially for rainy days like we had today. 
Stay tuned for a series of posts on rainy day activities for both your kiddos, you, and your whole family that might help you be just a little less stir crazy in these fall and winter months to come.
I think 6-7 Moms was the perfect size.
Other Tips for Your Busy Bag Exchange…
1. RSVP’s are crucial. In the couple of days leading up to the event I used our Facebook group and confirmed who had said yes (by tagging them each into the post), and included a description of what they were bringing so we didn’t have duplicates.
2. I posted some age appropriate ideas in the event so Mom’s who might dub themselves “less creative” had some easy ideas, or could see some ideas that weren’t already taken.
3. DO the FOOD. It’s just adds so much.
4. Have a nice space for kids to play – thanks to my incredible Mom for letting me use her VERY kid friendly space.
5. Limit the number of Mom’s and children. You want it to be fun and not too crazy.
Happy creating, and partying!

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