Thursday, August 18, 2011

"Busy Bags"... the instant, mobile BOREDOM BUSTER!

Completely by chance while playing about on Facebook, I stumbled upon a local photography business called The Storehouse Project. I liked what I saw and probed further, visiting Emma's blog. Turned out I visited at just the right time, because Emma was seeking volunteers for a "busy bag" swap. Until then, I'd never heard of a "busy bag" but five seconds later I decided it was the world's best initiative and signed myself up!

What is a busy bag, you ask? Why, it is a little zip-lock bag of creative goodness stowed away in your handbag/ car/ anywhere in fact... that you can pull out and entertain your dear small offspring at a moment's notice!

The bags contain a simple activity - something your young child can create or do that afterward, you can simply zip-lock back again for future emergencies!

You're liking this already aren't you?

The swap I have held my own hand up for involves 12 volunteers -- each of us constructing 12 little busy-bags of our own choice. Each person chose a unique activity so that next week -- on swap night -- we bring our activities along and swap with one another so that we each end up with not one but 12 delightful busy-bags to hide smugly away, knowing that at a moment's notice, we can pull one out and get a half-hour or so of reprieve!

You can imagine just how useful these would be at the doctors surgery... on an airplane (oh gawd I wish I'd had one of these last week for Elliott on the plane to NZ!)... in a restaurant... and in any number of other situations!

A little stumped on what to make for my own busy-bag, I did a web search and unveiled some of the following ideas:

from here

from here

Button Snake from here

If you love this idea and want to host your own local busy-bag swap, I found this link with a bunch of really great activity ideas to get you started. Another good one, complete with a linky-thingamy is this one, with tons of pages of cool and creative activities for kids!

Wondering what I'm going to make for my bag?

Well I'll share with you... I plan to make some mini-chalkboards! I am somewhat chalk obsessed at the mo so it seemed kinda obvious... Not entirely sure how I'm going to do it yet but I will need to sort it out quick-smart, because the swap is on Monday night! I'll post pics of my masterpieces over the weekend once I've made them, if you are interested.

Aside from having a tiny bit of stage fright about rocking up to somebody's house that I don't know and meeting a bunch of girl's that I also don't know to exchange these bags, I am quite excited about it, and isn't it a great way to meet new people! 

I'll report on how I fare next week - should I be brave enough to bring my camera along to the swap?



  1. Yay! Excited to meet you, and so glad we have chalkboard making an appearance in our swap :)
    Cameras are always a plus, in my opinion!

  2. What a beaut idea.
    Can't wait to hear/see what other treasures you'll encounter.
    Love your idea too.

  3. Oh my gosh Nicole, I need a whole stash of these bags!!! I am so going to put a collection together and have them ready for Grace when bub arrives. They would be perfect for outings, I find Grace is best amused when out with something new and exciting. Please be sure to share what you receive in the swap. Will be fun to meet some other mums and get some more ideas. How awesome, wish I lived closer so I could join in!! For your chalkboards, could you use those cheap as chips little frames from Ikea and paint the cardboard insert with chalkboard paint perhaps? x


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