Busy Bag Swap

To read more about our busy bag swap criteria, click here.
To read more about our busy bag swap rules, click here.
To read more about our busy bag swap timelines, click here.


Preschool Activities

Language Arts/Phonics:
A-Z Spoon Match  For this activity you will need to print the PDF and laminate both pages. Get 26 spoons and label each one with a CAPITAL letter.  So each spoon should have 1 letter.  (A-Z)
Upper/Lower case letter match Print the first two pages of the PDF and laminate.  Provide enough "marker pieces" for each letter match set.  For example, you can use coins, poms etc.  Children will see the uppercase "A" and place the "marker piece" over the lowercase "a".
Felt Alphabet Tiles This is an activity where children can order letters of the alphabet or create words! (Each participate will receive a felt mat and 26 felt alphabet tiles.)
Uppercase Clothes Pin Match With this activity the child will use their fine motor skills to pitch the clothes pin and place it on the correct matching letter.  (Each participant will get a laminated upper case alphabet wheel (page 2 only) and clothes pins with clearly labeled upper case letters.)
Alphabet Tracing Sheets  With this activity your child can practice tracing letters of the alphabet over and over!  Just wipe clean and repeat with more tracing! (Each participant will get 1-2 laminate letter sheets (the entire alphabet) and one dry erase marker).

Clothes Pin Number Match  For this activity, print page 1 of the PDF and laminate (wheel with 1-10).  Label 10 clothes pins with 1-10 (with a permanent marker).  There should be one number on each clothes pin. 
Number Tracing Print the PDF and laminate it.  Include 1 dry erase marker, such as an expo for each participant.
Shape Hunt This fun game involves rolling a die and finding an item in your house with a certain shape and placing it on the correct mat.  (The same mats should be laminated)
Clothespin Color Wheel This is a fun color matching game that involves color recognition and fine motor skills.  Laminate the color wheel and provide color coded clothes pins.
Trace A Shape Game   This game involves shape recognition and pre-writing skills.  (Laminate all pieces and provide a dry erase marker for each participant.)
Pom Pom Patterns  This is a fun activity that involves making and continuing patterns using pom poms.  (For this activity print only pages 2-4 and laminate.  Provide correct pom poms to be able to complete activity.)
Measure it!  In this activity children will measure various sizes of ribbon.  (Each participant will get several pieces of ribbon, measuring devices and mats.)
Shades of Color  Children will have fun sorting and categorizing colors on this color grid while using paint chip samples!
Five Fab Frogs Children will work on their counting skills with this hands on frog activity. (If participant can't find frogs you can redesign the board and use another animal such as bugs.  I have seen frogs and bugs at the Dollar Store.)
Other Learning Areas:
Spooning Beads  With this activity the child practices fine motor skills by transferring beads from one container to another.  (Each participate will get 1 spoon, 2 containers and a handful of beads.)
Ice Cream Felt Patterns Children will have fun making and recreating patterns using this ice cream activity.  (Each participate will get game pieces (laminated) 1 felt cone, 3 felt brown scoops, 4 felt pink scoops, 4 felt white scoops.)
What Goes Together?  With this activity, children will match real life items to pictures.  (Each participant will get a laminated game board and real items to match.)
Noodle Necklaces  Each baggie will have a couple yarn pieces for stringing and lots of colored pasts.  Have fun with the different shapes of pasta that are available!
Popsicle Puzzle  Children will put together a puzzle that is made of large Popsicle sticks.  (Each participant will get one puzzle made from Popsicle sticks and a picture of the finished puzzle.)
Lacing Cards  Children will practice fine motor skills by lacing a shoestring or similar string through a hole punched card.  (Each participant will get at least two lacing cards and string.  I'd check the dollar store for shoe strings, last time I got 8 strings for $1)
Magnetic Fishing Game  Children will have fun 'fishing' with this game.  (Each participant will get a small fishing poll with string and magnet and at least 5 fish (paper, foam or felt) with magnets.)
Double Trouble Shapes (make two grids per person)
Roll-a-cise Game (please laminate game board, but cut down to fit into bag)
Number Wheel (#2)
Paper Towel Tube Letter Matching
Felt CupCakes
Felt Snowflakes
Clothesline Fun
Felt Marble Game


Toddler Activities

Toddler Busy Bag Ideas:
Pool Noodle Stringing

Notebook set
Color Spoon Match
Shape Puzzles
Library Pockets
Shape Hunt
Egg Carton
Felt Popsicles
Felt Rainbow
Paint Chips
Race Car Shapes
Pipe Cleaners/Straws
Straw Put in
Cup and Straws
Foam Match up
Pinchers and Poms
Twist Ties
Felt cupcakes
Felt Button Snake
Clothes Line
Lacing Cards
Sponge Blocks
Rocks in a Bottle
I Spy Bottles
Hot Glue Rubbing Plates
Mini Felt Board
Texture Cards
Worm Pick up


Other Swap Info:

**Many of the items due require lamination to help make the bag items reusable and last longer. For items that aren't used with a dry erase marker (writing activities) we can be flexible and maybe use cardstock. We understand that not everybody has access to a laminator (in home or office supply store). If you do not want a lamination activity, please be sure to note that in the "notes" section of the sign up form. :)

Estimated Time Frame of Swap (5-6 weeks):
  • Sign up form goes live (sign up will go quickly)
  • Coordinator will email participant to confirm placement (within 1 week of sign up form closing)
  • Swappers have 1 week from email confirmation to make paypal payment (If payment is not received a new swapper will be added in your place from the wait list. You will be dropped.) (One paid your will receive your Bag assignment)
  • Swappers make,assemble and ship bags to coordinator. (2 weeks)
  • Coordinator receives, repackages and ships Boxes of Bags to swappers. (2 weeks)

The success of a swap depends solely upon its participants.

Swap Rules

Swap Rules have been modeled and adapted from HERE.
  • Sign up using the form provided when a swap is open. Be sure to specify your activity preferences. The form will be open only until the swap is full.
  • Once closed, those who signed up will be split into groups of 20 as possible. The names remaining will be kept as fill ins should participants drop out as the swap progresses. The swap groups are assigned on a first come, first serve basis. The sooner you sign up, the more likely you are to be in a group of swappers.
  • Activities will be assigned to each swapper in each group based on a first come, first served basis. If there are four people all wanting to do the same activity, the one who signed up and paid first will be assigned that activity. If every one of a swapper's choices are taken, they will be assigned a different activity. (If you have a problem with your assignment, please contact your coordinator right away.)
  • Each group of 20 will be assigned to a coordinator. The coordinator will receive their swappers' names, email addresses, and activity assignments.
  • The coordinator will email everyone in their group, informing them that they made it in to the swap. All the fill ins will be emailed informing them of their place in line.
  • Each swapper is responsible to make sure they receive all emails from their coordinator. If you do not hear anything within a few days of the swap form being closed, you should look in your junk mail folder. If you find nothing there, please comment directly on this blog.
  • Once you receive the email from your coordinator, you should reply acknowledging receipt. It is your responsibility to keep communicating with your coordinator so they know for sure that you are still participating.
  • You will have 1 week to pay $14.50, to cover the participation fee and the cost of shipping the 20 different busy bags back to you. The participation fee is $3.00. And $11.50 covers the cost of the medium flat rate box. Your shipping payment and participation fee is your ticket into the swap. You will not receive your activity assignment until your payment is received. If it is not received within the week, you will be replaced.
  • If you should need to drop out of the swap, please inform you coordinator as soon as possible so a replacement can be notified. Remember, the participation fee and shipping free is non-refundable. There will be more than one swap, so if you can't do it this time, come back for the next round.
  • Once you have received your activity assignment from your coordinator, you will have a specified time frame (usually around 2 weeks) to complete the bags and send to the coordinator. Please keep this date in mind as you choose your shipping method.
  • If your coordinator does not have your busy bag activities by the specified date, she will have to send the boxes without your activity. Please be kind and courteous and have your materials sent in on time.
  • When your coordinator has shipped the boxes, she will email you and let you know! In about 3-5 business days you should have your box of fun activities!