Monday, February 20, 2012

Australian Busy Bag Swap - Expressions of interest

One thing I have seen a lot of as I've pinned things on Pinterest lately are independent activities for toddlers known as 'busy bags'. 
What is a busy bag? It's a small zip lock bag (or similar) containing an activity that can be done independently or with minimal assistance by your toddler! 

Basically an easy activity to keep them busy while you're busy! 
Great for the car, shops or while cooking dinner!
Hand painted Blocks
There are so many wonderful activities out there. 
I have also recently seen a few busy bag swaps... an organised swap where a group of mums each put together and swap a set number of busy bags. e.g. If you're in a group of ten, you'd put together ten bags of the same activity. Then bags are exchanged so each mum goes away with 10 different activities, one from each of the other mums in her group! 
Most of these are American swaps so my sister in law Hannah from Paint On The Ceiling and I thought we'd host our very own Australian Busy Bag Swap! 

We'd love for YOU to be involved!

Here is how it will work!

We will be taking 'sign ups' from today until February 29. Only Australian residents can participate. If you commit please ensure you can meet the deadlines to ensure everyone receives their bags of goodies complete and on time! 
Once sign ups close you will be assigned an activity (hopefully one of your choice but we don't want to double up!) 
Story Stones
Please start to think about an activity you would like to create and duplicate for your group. (perhaps have a 2nd choice in case it's taken)
Upon being emailed your activity you will be given one month to create your duplicate activities and post to myself or Hannah ready for swapping and sending back your completed Busy Bags!

All activities should be:

Grab & Go: The purpose of a busy bag is to have convenient activities with all necessary components ready to go! Confined to a zip lock or similar bag is ideal. They should be transportable and easy to use at home OR out and about!

Easy to use: The bags shouldn't need extra supplies, particularly those that are messy or need to be set up prior to use (ie. paint) Remember we're encouraging independent play!

Long Lasting: Choose activities that don't need to be restocked. Laminate where necessary. Try to have an activity that is age appropriate for an extended time frame too!

Inexpensive: Activities should come in at around $1-$2 each! We don't want the swap to be a huge cost to anyone. Try to use things you already have or be resourceful with second hand or inexpensive items.


This Busy Bag Swap will run via mail (aside from local participants) 

Your busy bags will need to be posted to myself or Hannah by March 31 (all details in your sign up email, giving you about a month to complete your duplicate activities and post them off. 
Postage should be in a prepaid satchel (500g size may be okay for initial items - approx $6) and you should include an additional self addressed satchel (500g-3kg size necessary (approx $10) to receive all of your goodies back. (You may choose to go for express or registered satchels for an extra cost or for an extra $1 I think you can have a 'sign on delivery' option added!)
Silhouette Puzzle
We would hope all recipients have received their completed busy bags by mid-April! 

If you like the sound of this and would like to sign up to be part of this fun swap where you will receive a collection of interactive, educational and engaging activities for your toddler, please comment below with your email address OR email us at 
*** justfordaisy11 (at) gmail (dot) com ***
to express your interest! 

We'll send you some more information and keep you updated on activities.

If you sign up below please do the following:

- Start thinking about what activity you'd like to do (have a few options) You can include these in your sign up email or we will request them by the month's end.
- Visit my Busy Bag Pinterest board for more ideas or Hannah's Busy Bag Pinterest board for even more exciting ideas
- Take a look around this blog and the Paint On the Ceiling blog to see more ideas
- Be on the lookout for specials at your local thrift store, craft shop or $2 shop - this might influence your choice of activity!
- Ensure you can meet the deadlines so that the swap runs smoothly! :-)

We really hope you can participate and look forward to hearing from you soon!

Please grab our Busy Bag Swap Button and pop it on your blog or share it on facebook so that others can find the swap too!