Thursday, March 15, 2012

RRCH Busy Bag Swap Sign-Up & Important Information:

UPDATE:  Due to a fantastic response to the swaps listed below we have decided to open up “copycat” swaps.  The details are all the same . . .
RRCH will be hosting its second Busy Bag swap!  (Click here to see the first swap)
This exchange will have 4 swaps to choose from (*you may join as many as you like) & each swap will be limited to 5 participants.
  1. Big Kids
  2. Easy Felt
  3. Make a . . . Kit
  4. Felt Food
The swaps are listed below with 5 preselected activities to choose.  You will find a sample picture, materials list, & brief instructions.  **Please make activities specific to the details given.
To sign-up leave a comment under the swap of your choice. 
Contact Nicki Truesdell at ( if you have any questions.
  • Sign-up Deadline:  March 26
  • Exchanges: April 9 at 7 & 7:30pm

What's a Busy Bag Swap, you ask?
It's a very easy way to collect up to 20 "busy" activities for your preschooler.
On those crazy days when you have lots going on and a very inquisitive preschooler nearby (this is every day, right???) you simply pull out one of these activity bags and get yourself a possible half-hour of peace and quiet!
All you need to do is make one activity, and duplicate it up to 5 times,
bring it to the swap, trade with the other participants, and go home with
up to 5 different busy bags

This activity is not limited to parents of preschoolers. Grandparents,
aunts, Sunday School teachers, babysitters, gift-givers; if you need some
preschool activities, you are welcome to join the swap. A stack of 20 busy
bags would make a great birthday gift!
Each activity needs to meet the following criteria:·       *Self-contained:* This way, you can just grab a bag and GO (without
having to add a number of supplies to the bag in order to make it useful).
·       *Transportable: *Yes, they will definitely be used at home, but
parents might want to be able to grab a few bags to take to a restaurant, a
waiting room, plane trips, car rides, etc.
·       *Convenient:* None of the bags will have supplies that require
major set-up *or* clean-up: (no paint, watercolors, liquids, sand, dirt,
·       *Inexpensive:* Don't spend too much money on this project!
·       *Easy to Make: *Don't spend hours and hours and hours making your
·       *Re-usable:* I want these activities to last a while so that our
other children can use them in the future. Therefore, avoid activities
where you would have to buy new supplies to re-stock the bag. This is why
lamination is important for some of the activities. Use a FREEZER bag for
·       *Include instructions:* Make sure the activity has a clear name or
instructions for use. Laminate this if possible, or write on Ziploc bag
with a Sharpie.
·       *Preschooler appropriate*: The activity needs to be appropriate for
ages 2-4. Every child is different, so busy bags may be simple and some
will be more advanced. That's okay. Variety is the spice of life!

If you're not sure if you can handle he expense or the time investment at this time, then maybe you should pass this time around.
*If however, you do sign up with full intentions of participating, but then realize that for some reason you are unable to continue, please let me know right away, so that we can contact someone else who would love to be involved.*
Try to invest *no more than about $3-4 per bag*. (Use those Michaels, Joanns, & Hobby Lobby coupons!!)
Also keep in mind your schedule AND your budget. Some of you may have more time than money, vice versa. If you have the time, you might be willing to print and cut and
sort flash cards or felt shapes. If you don't have the time, but have a few extra dollars, you might be willing to purchase manipulatives that just need sorting into bags.

Busy Bag Swap “Easy Felt” Group #1

**This Swap is FULL**
Choose one of the following activities & leave a comment in the comment section of this post. *Be sure to check that it has not already been chosen. 
You will need: 
  • Felt in at least 7 different colors   Cream/white felt for backing
  • Needle & thread or fabric glue
*Requires sewing/or fabric glue

You will need:
  • 1 string
  • 15-20 clothespins
  • Felt or fabric pieces (colors & patterns of your choice)
*you can download the pattern here.

You will need:
  • Felt in at least 6 different colors
  • A long piece of ribbon
  • A button
  • A needle and thread
*Requires light sewing.

shape memory game
You will need:
12- 1 1/2" wood discs
Wool felt in 6 different colors (ROYGBP)
Heat N' Bond

You will need:
  • Felt in at least 6 different colors (ROYGBP)
  • Popsicle sticks
  • Markers
  • Needle & thread/or fabric glue
*The popsicle 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.
You will need to make 5 bags of the activity you have chosen.  Please be prepared for the activity swap on April 9 at 7pm.  *Location to be announced
The deadline to sign up for this swap is March 26.

Busy Bag Swap “Make a . . . Kit” Group #1

This Swap is limited to FIVE Participants, and the activities have been decided by the organizers.
Choose one of the following activities & leave a comment in the comment section of this post, stating your intention to participate and which activity you will do. *Be sure to check that it has not already been chosen.
You will need:
Make: 2 faces, 2-3 sets of hair, 2-3 eyes, 2-3 noses, 2-3 mouths, 2-3 sunglasses
You will need:
Make: clouds, sun, 2-3 trees, 2-3 different colored houses, 2-4 windows, 2 doors

You will need:
32 pieces: 6 circles, 1 half circle, 6 stars, 3 hearts, 3 triangles, 13 squares & rectangles
You will need:
Felt, fine point pen for eyes
2 dolls, 2 dresses, 4 shirts, 2 skirts, 1 pair of pants, 1 pair of shorts, 5 pair of shoes, 4 hairstyles
You will need:
  • assorted felt off-cuts
  • pipe cleaners
  • buttons
  • foam strips
  • shredded paper
  • *You could also include:
  • paperclips, dried pasta, foam shapes, material scraps, pieces of colored card and paper, colored tissue...the list is endless!
You will need to make 5 bags of the activity you have chosen. Please be prepared for the activity swap on April 9 at 7pm. *Location to be announced.
The deadline to sign up for this swap is March 26.

Busy Bag Swap "Felt Food" Group #1

**This Swap is FULL**

Felt cupcakes with sprinkles.

You will need:

4 cupcake liners
4 different "flavors" of cake
4 different icing colors
at least 4 different sprinkle themes

(sprinkles could be cut or pre-purchased)

Ice cream treats set

You will need felt in the following colors:


Felt treats do not need to be sewin (as in the photo) but will be fun as an assembly activity on a felt board!

Felt Pizza Activity

You will need:

Carboard circle for the crust
Red felt circle for "sauce"
Various toppings, such as pepperoni, cheese, black olives, mushrooms, peppers, etc.

Felt Sandwich Activity
You will need:
Brown and tan felt for breads
"turkey" or "Ham"
blue or purple for jelly
tan for peanut butter
yellow for cheese
white for onions
red for tomatoes
green for lettuce and pickles

Cookie Jar Activity

You will need:

Red for cookie jar
White letters (can be cut or purchased)
tan for cookies
brown for chocolate chips

These activities are simple enough for toddlers but enticing enough for elementary-aged kids!

You will need to make up to FIVE of each activity. Please leave a comment below stating your intention to participate and your chosen activity. (Make sure that activity has not already been claimed.) The Swap will take place on Monday, April 9 at 7:00 p.m. (location TBA).

The deadline to sign up for this swap is March 26.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Busy Bag Swap “Big Kids”

***This swap is now closed***
This exchange is geared to kids from Kindergarten to 3rd grade. Of course, your younger or older children will likely enjoy the activities as well. They will all require printing.
DSC01486Silly Sentences
This game is a fun way to play with sentence structure while making kids laugh!
Click on the photo to get the free printable and instructions.  
You will need 3 colors of cardstock.

digrah mittens pic
 Diagraph Mittens
 In this game, kids match a picture mitten to the diagraph that begins that word. The two mittens are clipped together with clothespins.
Click on the photo for free printable and instructions.
You will need colored cardstock and clothespins.
Ice Cream Math
Kids get to practice their addition facts with this fun ice cream game. Scoops (math problems) are stacked on cones (answers).
Click on picture for free printable and instructions.
You will need several colors of cardstock.
United States Geography Pinboard
Using a map, flags, and corkboard, children will have fun learning about the United States.
This activity requires a purchased download of map and flags, as well as corkboard. Printing also required.
Click on picture for details.
Boggle Boards
Children will have fun reading and spelling as they play a quiet version of Boggle. Free printable includes Boggle boards and recording sheet.
Click on picture for instructions and printable.
You will need plain white cardstock and colored cardstock for mounting (optional).
This Activity Swap is limited to 5 participants. Please choose the activity you would like to bring and leave a comment on this blog, below, to confirm your participation. The Swap will take place on Monday, April 9, 2012 at 7:00 p.m. (location TBA).
Please RSVP by March 26.