I was recently involved in my first swap. I know, you would think after 10 plus years heavily involved in the craft scene and 2 years of kids I would have been totally immersed in the world of swaps. Nope, I was a swap virgin until last week. My maiden swap voyage was with a group of ladies in my mommy group and we had a toddler activity bag swap.
A toddler activity bag is pretty much exactly what you think it is. A bag with a game or toy inside to keep a toddler busy, if even for a few minutes. Think Dr’s office waiting rooms, long car trips, waiting for your food at a very slow restaurant. They can be quite handy and often times educational. Tallulah’s fave so far is the bead sorting and matching game. There was a felt story board, sandpaper yarn art, color matching, a button snake and dry erase pages. I brought I Spy Bags. Wanna make your own? Here’s how….
First choose a fabric to use. I went through my stash of groovy 70’s Holly Hobby options and chose one with a kids theme. Apply iron on interfacing to the back side of the fabric and cut into squares the size you would like your bags to be.
You now need to sew your bag almost closed. You want a hole large enough to insert some small toys and rice. Wondering where to get these small toys? Might I suggest a jar of Naughty Secretary Club Crafty Curios. That is where these came from. The point is for the kids to find small toys, buttons, keys, coins and what not as they manipulate the baggies.
I got Tallulah to help me scoop rice into the funnels and into the bags. I must admit this made a huge mess, but Tallulah had such a great time helping I couldn’t say no. You don’t want to fill your bags completely with rice, leave enough room so that the rice and toys can move around.
Luckily my mother was in town to help with the sewing portion of this project (thanks again mom). Once your toys and rice are inside finish sewing up your bags, or in my case get your mother to. If you are so inclined add some trim to the edges.
All that is left to do is give the bag to your toddler and watch them play. You can let your child discover the various items in the bag on their own or you can prompt them and say “can you find the key”. Each time they turn the bag the rice moves revealing a different toy.