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Busy Bag Swaps

Busy Bag Swap Information <---- This is a link!

Busy Bag Swap Posts
(If you're looking for activity ideas, this is where you want to start.)

Toddler Swap - Contents will vary
Toddler Swap
(Toddlers (ages 1-young 2s): very simple activities focusing on "in and out", "poking", "open and close", etc.)

Pre-K Swap - Contents will vary
Pre-K Swap
(Preschool-Young K (Adv. 2s-Young Ks): activities focusing on shapes, colors, alphabet, numbers, and just plain fun)

K-2nd Swap
(Kdg-2nd gr (those gaining reading skills): more advanced activities encouraging reading and math skills, but also lots of fun)

Math and Reading Swap
(This swap contains only activities that can be used to either teach math and reading concepts or reveiw and reinforce the concepts your k-2nd grader is learning in school.)

Crystal from Money Saving Mom has a wonderful list of busy bag ideas complete with photos.

Math and Reading Swap (Coming Soon!)
(Reading and Math Activities (kdg.-2nd gr.): games and activities centering around basic reading and math skills)

What the difference between the K-2nd and the Math and Reading Only?
The first (k-2nd) is a set of activities that are mostly just fun (but may have hidden education in it). These are activities you can hand your child and let them entertain themselves for a while. They should be (hopefully) things that the child will want to do on their own. The goal is not so much to teach them as it is to give them something constructive to do.

The second (math and reading only) is for the sole purpose of teaching your child. These are games or activities that you can use in your homeschool or to reinforce what they are learning in school. They are not so much made for the purpose of giving your child something fun to do when they're bored as they are to make what they HAVE to do a bit more fun. The activities will be centered on math and reading only. There will be no "just for fun" stuff.


Busy Bag Q&A

Q: "What is a busy bag?"

A: A busy bag is a ziploc bag contatining an activity for your child to enjoy either with you or on their own. It is a form of creative occupation. It may be educational or may not.

Q: "What is a busy bag swap?"

A: Simple. It's 30 swappers creating 30 busy bags of the same kind, compiling them all
together, and each receiving 30 different busy bags for themselves.

The swaps on this blog will be done by mail. Each swapper sends 30 busy bags of the same kind to a
coordinator. The coordinator divvies them up, so everyone gets one of each kind, and then
ships them back to the swappers. Each swappers should end up with 30 different activities
to enjoy with their children.

This is a conjunctive group. The success of this swap depends on the success of each
member. The end goal of 30 different activities for each swapper is only possible so long
as each swapper creates 30 bags of the same activities and ships them to the coordinator on
time and maintains proper communication with the coordinator.

Q: "How do the swaps work?"

A: You can read all the swap procedures here.

Q: "I haven't heard anything from anybody about the swap. Did I make it in?"

A: Typically, it could take about 3 days to be contacted by your coordinator. You should receive an email either stating the details regarding activity assignments or informing you that you are a fill in.

If it has been more than 3 days, check you spam folder or your junk mail folder. It is possible that your email server may have categorized it as junk.

If it has been more than 3 days and you cannot find and email in your spam or junk mail folders, please email me (link in sidebar). It could be that there was a problem with the email address you entered. I will look up your information and get with your coordinator to figure out the problem.

Q: "When will you host more swaps?"

A: I do not have a set schedule for hosting swaps. At this time, I do not foresee myself hosting swaps on a continual rotation, due to children who need parented, homeschooling that needs taught, and a house that screams "clean me".

However, hosting swaps is something that I really enjoy, and I certainly plan to do more of them. I will more than likely host the "norms" (toddler, pre-k, and k-2nd) several times over the course of time. There may also be some specialty swaps, such as travel activities, from time to time. Keep your eye out!

Q: "Can I be put on a mailing list to be informed when you post a new swap?"

A: Sure. Just fill in your email address in the field at the top of the page. When I post a new swap, I will send you a short email with the link to the new swap.

Q: "I am not going to be able to join the swap at this time, but I love the activity ideas. I'm so bummed."

A: All the activities listed in the swap posts can be easily put together yourself. Feel free to stock your activity stash on your own.

Q: "So, it's $30 to create 30 activities, plus shipping to the coordinator, plus $14.95 to have them shipped back?? Isn't that rather expensive?"

A: It depends on how you look at it. If you look at it as up to $60 out of your pocket for a box of stuff, it seems outrageous.

However, If you look at the value of having 30 activities to entertain, occupy, educate, and inspire imagination in your children, the price is worth it. Who doesn't welcome the quiet concentration of children?

If you look at the cost (both money and time) you would put into creating 30 activities yourself, without a swap, the price is worth it. For many activities, you would need only a couple of a certain item, but because that item is only sold in large quantities, you end up spending more than $1 per bag. Therefore, when you add up how much you spent on supplies to create 30 bags, you will find it well above $30.

Q: "So, if money is tight right now, and I just can't squeeze a swap into a budget, and creating them myself is more expensive, then I guess I'll just have to go without."

A: Not exactly. There's no rule that you have to create 30 busy bags at once. Spread it out over time and fit little amounts into the budget.