Last week, we asked on our Facebook page for tips on how to host a busy bag swap.  We’ve pulled together the tips and advice for you here.

canstockphoto10453843What is a Busy Bag?

A busy bag is a self contained child friendly activity.  They are usually stored in their own bag or box and can be given to a child to keep them busy and entertained during younger siblings’ nap times, long trips in the car or even while waiting for an appointment.

So a Busy Bag Swap is?

A group gets together to exchange busy bags.  Each participant brings enough identical bags to give one out to each attendee.

Awesome!  How Does a Chapter Do That?

Hosting a busy bag swap is easy but does require a little bit of planning.

  • Give your chapter members lots of notice for the swap and make sure to close the RSVPs in enough time for everyone to make their pages.  Members should have at least a few weeks – maybe even a month – to finish making their bags after the RSVP deadline.
  • Set a price limit for the bags.  Members will want to know what they’ll be expected to spend and no one wants to go broke making these.  $1 per bag should be plenty to create some awesome bags but still not break the bank.
  • Divide the swap by age.  What is appealing to a 2 year old isn’t likely going to hold the attention for a 5 year old.  Multiple swaps can happen at the same event so everyone can join in the fun but it will ensure moms walk away from the swap with activities that are most appropriate for their children’s ages.
  • Either allow members to share what sort of bag they are bringing or have someone coordinate to avoid duplicate bags.
  • If you have a lot of people interested, considering splitting into groups or capping the attendance.  Potentially having to make 50 bags will discourage people from participating.
  • The day of the swap, each person arrives with their bags and something to carry it all home in.  Each person can describe their bag and how it works and perhaps even give a short demo.  Then pass around the bags to ensure that each attendee gets one.

Some Additional Tips to Make Your Event a Success

  • Most craft stores have coupons for various items throughout the month so with enough notice, members should be able to take advantage of sales.
  • Having a blast making them?  Consider making a few extra donating them to a local hospital!
  • Pinterest is full of busy bag ideas.  You could even create a group board for your chapter to share ideas.