Thanks to the Internet, I have a ton of mom friends with kids the same age as mine. Do I know all these mama’s IRL? No. I have met some, so the creeper factor is lower. Not totally gone. We have a big group of people, some of them have to be certifiable. As girls will, we branch off into little cliques. There are the hipster moms, the blogging moms, the sewing moms, the mean moms (about 6 different groups of these at least), the weight loss moms, the having more babies moms, the SAHMoms, the WAHMoms, the couponing moms, the Type-A moms, the really bad at crafts moms, the list goes on. Some of the crafty moms recently joined forces to create some awesome projects for our 2 year olds. Thanks to a Type-A mom, we pulled it all off!
When she approached me with the subject it went something like this:
Her: I’m trying to brainstorm how we could get a group of 10 of us to do a busy bag swap and it not cost a fortune.
Me: what is a busy bag?
So don’t feel bad if you have no idea what I’m talking about. She didn’t tell me. She’s a punk. She gave me links. Got me all excited with ideas swirling around in my head rather than trying to explain it to me. She’s smart. She must know I don’t do well with actual words (What’s that you say, library books I’ve had out since April and haven’t even looked at…). But now I will tell you.
You know those awesome moms? The ones that make their kid every project under the sun? With their toddler?! And you’re all WTF?! I have a house to clean! I have dinner to make! I have other kids to care for! I have the Internet (because let’s be honest…who is actually cleaning their house?). We aren’t those moms. Well, ok, a few of the girls are…but most of us aren’t. But the rest of us…we have good intentions and some decent skills. So we scour Pinterest in search of the best toddler projects. We handpick 12 other moms that are awesome like us AND want to do it. Everyone selects their project. Each mom makes 14 of the SAME project and ships it to the mastermind. She comes to visit me. We drink wine. We sort projects. We pack them up and ship out a box full of fun to each mom.
Assembly lines. It’s where progress came from. This project is all about assembly lines. One mom buys a ton of buttons. Another mom, a bag of beans. I bought a 5lb bag of rice. Someone else, a lot of wooden blocks. Or popsicle sticks. Or sponges. But it saves one mom from buying smaller quantities of ALL THE THINGS. Get it? It also gives you a mixed bag of skills. I wouldn’t have been able to make half of these projects and have them look even half as good as the results. I think that about explains it all. Since we ended up with more than 15 projects, I’m going to break it up into 2 posts. Here’s your first batch, and come back next Monday for the rest!
Candace is a WAHM/professional photographer. She made us Cookie Sheet Pom Pom Rainbows. Little magnets glued to the back of pom poms. Put the laminated rainbow on a cookie sheet, and match the colors! I might add magnets to the back of my rainbow so we can use it on a wall mounted magnet board for the boys.
Allison is an art teacher and photographer. She made an animal heads and tails matching game. Perfect for travel. A nice quiet activity. You can work on animal names, sounds, matching skills… Turn it into a memory game when they are a little older.
Amy is a WAHM to two adorable little girls. She also has the cutest Etsy shop. Her project was felt Butterfly Symmetry. Laminated cards and a piece of white felt to match cut out felt pieces. This is amazing. I would have never had the patience to make something like this. Seems like a perfect take to church project. (Did I mention almost all of these projects fit in a gallon ziplock or smaller?
Kim is typically #notimpressed by anything. She thought her project wasn’t any good when we were all talking about them. UMMMM Wrong. It’s been a favorite of quite a few of the kids already. Mine included. Small wooden wheels painted in a rainbow of colors (2 wheels each), a pencil case for storage (might be Bean’s favorite part), and cars drawn on paint sample cards! I LOVE IT! Seriously. LOVE. IT.
Jaci sent two projects. She sent another of my favorites. Bean loves his potato head, but I have to admit, I’ve come to despise it. Hard plastic is loud. The back of the potato head comes off. Okay, he takes it off. And then wants me to fix it. CONSTANTLY. Quiet potato head. Portable potato head. I can make extra accessories if I want potato head. Felt sticks to felt like velcro. But without the noise. Great for learning body parts and placement or just for fun!
Jaci’s next project was popsicle stick shapes. So simple, and yet again, probably something most of us wouldn’t have made. Just a dot of velcro on each end of the stick and a small laminated card with some shapes. Learning is fun!
M. Kelly as I like to call her was our organizer. She is an Army nurse and currently a SAHM to the smartest little boy I’ve ever met. And he is constantly on the go like Bean, so we bond over that. And fabric. And Starbucks. Anyway… She did a bunch of projects too. Her first was counting frogs. She hand cut 10 lilypads for each kid! How cute are they?!
One of her “easy” projects (I say this because she claimed it was NBD) is Bean’s absolute hands down favorite toy in the whole wide world right now. SPONGES. He is constantly asking for them.
I think these might be the ultimate toy. They can be dominos. They can be building blocks. They can be for building shapes knowledge. Or color knowledge. We can build houses with them because they stick to each other a little bit as you build. They don’t wake the baby when they get knocked over. They cost like $3, so if they get lost, stolen, destroyed… they can easily be replaced.
That’s all for this week. Have you done a busy bag swap or are you planning to do one? Share!!