Friday, May 25, 2012

busy bag swap

after a successful baby food exchange, i wanted to try a Busy Bag Swap.  i have been admiring all the busy bag ideas on pinterest but never getting around to making a set of them.  if you're not familiar with the term, "busy bag", it's exactly what it sounds like - a bag of stuff that keeps your kid busy.  nice to have for at a restaurant, doctor's office, a friends house who doesn't have kids, etc.  and there are SO many ideas out there!  when i read about having a Busy Bag Swap on Rookie Moms, i thought, "i totally should do this."

the idea of a busy bag swap sounded awesome but i was initially apprehensive to set one up because of the size of our house and the number of kids that would be at the swap.  i toyed with the idea of having an evening thing for just the moms but i'm often wiped in the evenings and couldn't see wanting to do it that way.  when i came up with the idea to host the swap at a park, i finally booked a date on the calendar and made a facebook event page.  because i have an almost 3 year old, i specifically made the target age of the swap for 3 year olds then i invited all the moms that i know who have kids in and around that age.  i told them to invite their friends and that we'd cap the group at 20 if necessary but we ended up having 15 moms.  on the group wall, the moms posted links to the bags that they were going to make and i just watched to make sure that no one was duplicating.  we said $20 max to make all 15 bags.  it was so exciting to see the links that people were posting of bags they were going to make knowing that i was going to get to have one of those bags!

as we got closer to the date, some moms weren't going to be able to make it so they just planned to give their bags to another mom who WAS coming and then that friend would just collect enough for them as well. also, people began switching their bag ideas as they realized that either it was too much work or it was too expensive.  this worked out fine though - there are so many ideas out there that there still weren't any duplicates.  at the last minute, i had everyone label their bags with a number so that it would be easy to tell if you got all 15 or not.

the swap was today.  it was gorgeous weather.  it was an awesome park that another mom had suggested that i'd never been to before - so huge but easy to spot our kids from the shaded blankets that we set up under a tree. there ended up being about 10 moms which was 25 kids - we filled up the playground!  the kids played, babies sat on blankets or in strollers, and moms chatted. as a mom who doesn't have a "playgroup" or some kind of regular mom group to hang out with, i had a great time.  met some new women who were invited by others and got to see some others that i hadn't seen in a long time.  it was fun to have other moms who were just as excited as me about getting all these busy bags!
we probably didn't need to number all the bags when we lined them up and just walked down the row taking one from each pile.  

Getting started right away!  Number fishing game complete with cute pencil fishing rod with a magnet on the end.
Stringing her coloured pasta noddles onto a string
Packing up all the bags to take home

Check out that park in the background - a nice one!   ben loved that big slide.
we got our bags out right away when we got home to test a few out - here's the felt cupcake kit.  
now my freezer is full of baby food cubes from the exchange and i have a bag of games for the diaper bag. i've already had a mom message me to say that whatever swap is next in line, she's in.  what could we do next?  ;)


LaelDyck said...

You are my hero! I have to do this when J is old enough for busy bags! :)

theRachel said...

Aw, Bec, you are just the best!

Hanners Barkey said...

awww. I remember when Ben was scared of big slides!!!