Busy Bag Exchange – Creative moments with our kids!

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Hello lovely mamas! I am usually posting on our West Valley Cooking Club recaps and recipes but I am honored to be adding another theme to my writing… creative moments with our kids! I don’t know about you but when our day seems to be dragging by or I have already put a defiant child in time out more times than I can count it is clear to me that my girls need some structured play (enter creative moment here).

My girls are 2 and 4 so they are just getting to the ages where I can set out a craft and watch their little minds working as they analyze the activity and use their learned skills to accomplish it. Whether it is stickers, cutting up construction paper, making organized crafts found at the dollar store and Wal-mart, or just tracing their hands with every color crayon we own they are more focused, better behaved and have a sense of security while mama sits with them.
Now as much as I LOVE crafts and activities I am soooo not a fan of the extremely messy ones! I would much rather use tape or self adhesive pieces than glue, play-dough instead of shaving cream, markers instead of paints and let’s just say crayons are my number one go to tool to use with them 😉 I know i know I am not a very fun Mom in the craft department… but I know I am not alone 😉 Sometimes it is just nice to set out kids down at the table with an activity that doesn’t include cleaning gooey, sticky, messes off the floor, chairs and clothes!
 This post is going to focus on clean fun activities that I keep in my “Busy Bag” for those moments when a little organized play is needed! I had the opportunity to be a part of a busy bag exchange! If you ladies feel like you are lacking in the activity/craft department then a small exchange with your friends just might be the best option for you! My dear friend put together a Facebook group of moms that had kids all around the same ages. We then used this fabulous website they talk about how to Host a Busy Bag Exchange here on this wonderful site!
There are so many ideas if you Google busy bag exchange or preschool craft exchange. I have also found a bunch of pins on pinterest as well! SO many great sites!! Once the site was chosen we then each were assigned an activity and made a bunch of them. For example I chose number 11 “Pool noodle lacing and sequencing” tweaked it a little then made 12 of them and brought it to our exchange. We each went home that evening with 12 new activities to keep in our busy bag or throw in the diaper bag or keep in the backseat of the car!
I am going to show you a few of my favorites! These are tried and true clean activities that my girls have enjoyed, played with multiple times and really hold their attention long enough for me to make dinner! All of these can be found on the website mentioned above. They have two different posts on great ideas! Here is the one I used and here is the other one that was also used in our exchange!
My favorite activities:

*No Sew Fishing Game: Felt fish with metal washers glued inside.  Using a pencil with yarn attached and a magnet at the end your kiddo will try and line up the magnet with the colored felt fish.

*Pool Noodle Lacing Name: I got 3 different colored pool noodles at the dollar store and sliced them up. Your kiddos can practice lacing or making patterns. I went one step further and spelled out my daughter’s name on it. That way as she laced the noodles onto the rope she could also learn to spell her name.

*Popsicle Color Match: Colored felt popsicles and popsicle  sticks. The sticks have the color labeled on both ends of one side (once written in the corresponding color for a hint) and the other side is labeled with the “flavor” and a colored swatch of the corresponding color for another hint. Nice touches to make it easier for beginners! The take turns matching the stick to the correct felt popsicle!

*The last one I am going to leave you with is the Board book puzzle: This wasn’t on the list but a sweet gal found board books at the dollar store and cut them into four pieces. One page of the book acts as one two-sided puzzle. Easy enough for the kids to put together!

So there they are my tried and true top busy bag activities! Now get a few mamas together and start a Busy Bag Exchange too!

What other activities have you tried with your kiddos that have been great!?

 

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Born and raised in the valley, Mandi has been married to the love of her life David since 2007. They have been blessed with two beautiful girls, Gracelyn born 2008 and Briella born 2010. Mandi finds so much joy in being a stay at home mom and enjoys hosting play dates, dinner parties and organizing get togethers with her friends. When she isn't busy studying for her Doula certification, you can find her tied to her hot glue gun or elbow deep in ribbon designing simple, elegant girly hair accessories for her little online store Jolie Fille Bowtique. She is loves fancy coffees, good storms and outdoor adventures! She looks forward to every holiday and loves to celebrate big as each one approaches. When she’s not playing dress up with her babes, she loves DATE NIGHTS with her man, thrifting with friends, and thinking up creative ways to make and capture fun memories! She feels so blessed for this life God has given her and desires to share His amazing joy with everyone she meets! You can keep up with her family on their blog www.wearesimplyblessed.blogspot.com

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