Busy Bag Swap

What is a busy bag?  It's an activity designed to fit in a bag that is toddler friendly and helps to keep little hands and minds busy!

What is a busy bag swap?  It's when you get a group together and each person makes a certain number of the SAME busy bag and then you swap.  This is a great idea to keep costs down, meet new friends, and have some fun!

I recently participated in a busy bag swap!  We had 11 girls that participated, so each girl picked one of the activities listed below that she wanted to be in charge of.  I chose to be in charge of the lacing cards.  I made 11 bags and each bag consisted of 4 different lacing cards.  We set a date that we would exchange the bags and met at a friends house.  Then we brought our bags and traded.  We all left with one of our own bags and 10 other busy bags.

Here is the list of activities that we choose from, but you could choose any activities that you want.  Just make sure to be specific in what you expect!

No sew Fishing Game (make at least 3 fish)

Gel Writing Bag (seal in 2 separate bags to avoid leakage)

Pasta Sort  (use chunky pasta, with multiply colors and shapes)

Magnetic Pom Poms (Include the color printouts)

Lacing Cards (Make 4+ for each bag)

Below are the lacing cards that I made!  I just used card stock and cut it into the shapes below.  If you aren't much of an artist, you can print off a template online and use it as a pattern (that's what I did). : )  Laminate the card stock and cut the excess lamination off leaving about 1/4 of an inch around the edge.  Then just take a hole punch and punch holes around the edge.  I used shoe laces as the thread.  You can buy a whole pack at family dollar for only a dollar! ; )

Sort into piles and place in bags and you are ready to party/swap!

 My boys have loved the busy bags.  We pull ours out during preschool time, before dinner while I cook and sometimes we even take a bag to church with us!

Here a 3 more resources that I found helpful while preparing for our busy bag swap!

Our busy bag swap went really well and was a ton of fun!  If you want to do one go for it!  If you have any questions leave me a comment!  Have fun!



  1. I love this idea and have fallen in love with your site! I have a 18 month old and have several friends in the neighborhood with similar aged children....so I'm hoping to start up a co-op playgroup with them soon! I'm subscribing to your site and am hoping to use some pf your brillant ideas! =)
    Shara @ Palmettos and Pigtails

  2. What a wonderful site! Thank you for sharing your ideas with us!



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