Online Busy Bag Swaps
Kidlet Occupation offers busy bag swaps for mothers who enjoy the creative process of assembling busy bags themselves.
Q: What is a busy bag?
A: A busy bag is a plastic zippered bag containing an activity to keep your kidlet occupied. See our busy bag page for more details.
Q: What is a busy bag swap?
A: A busy bag swap is a group of moms who each assemble and swap a set number of busy bags. Each mom assembles the set number of bags of the exact same activity. The moms then exchange the busy bags, so that each mom has one bag of each activity.
Here at Kidlet Occupation, the swap is done through the mail. Thrity moms each assemble 30 bags of the exact same activity, and then ship it to the swap coordinator. The swap coordinator sorts through the activities, boxing up one of each for all 30 moms, and then ships them out to each mom in the swap.
Q: What type of busy bag swaps do you offer?
A: At this time, we only offer swaps for the preschooler and early elementary age groups.
Q: Do you have any open swaps right now?
A: Check our home page for updates on which swaps are currently running, and which swaps will be opening soon.
Q: Can I be notified when new swaps are open?
A: We are unable to email a list everytime a new swap is open. However, feel free to subscribe by email to our blog's rss feed. You will receive our blog updates right to your inbox, so you will never miss a swap.
Q: How does the swap work?
A: In short, the swaps take place in four parts.
- You fill out a form, expressing your interest in the swap that is open at the time.
- When a coordinator contacts you, you will pay a shipping deposit and a small participation fee.
- You will be assigned an activity and will have two weeks to assemble 30 busy bags and ship them to your swap coordinator.
- Your swap coordinator will collect everyone's busy bags, divy them up among all 30 swappers, and ship them back out.
For the nitty, gritty details, read our Swap Rules and Procedures (a must if you're signing up for a swap).
Q: How much does it cost to join a busy bag swap?
A: The good news is, if you participated in a swap through Unsolicited Advice, where we originally hosted them, you will be happy to hear that we have reduced the shipping cost to the Priority Mail medium flat rate box.
A busy bag swap will cost between $33 and $53, depending on your creativity in keeping your busy bag activity under the $1 per bag budget and the shipping method you choose to ship your bags to your coordinator. Below is a break down of your costs.
Shipping Deposit: $10.50
Participation Fee: $2.00
Busy Bag Assembly: $15 - $30
Shipping to coordinator: $5 - $10.50
Total: $32.50 - $53.00
Q: Why do you charge a participation fee?
A: In past swaps, we have found that there are several people who may have complete intentions of following through with the swap, but for some reason, are not able to complete it. The participation fee helps cover the cost of your coordinator needing to create extra busy bags in place of those swappers who do not end up sending theirs.
The participation fee also helps to cover the cost of shipping supplies and compensates the coordinator for their time and energy, albiet it a very small compensation.
Q: How do I keep the costs down as much as possible?
A: Start by purposefully committing to the swap. If you're going to do the swap, hop to it right away. As soon as you find out which busy bag activity you are assigned, research it and make a list of each item you will need to create the bags.
Do a little bit of onine research to compare pricing. Dollar Tree is a good place to start. Most items on their website are stocked in store. You may also want to check Hobby Lobby. Make sure you check their sale for that week and see if they have a 40% off coupon. If you receive fliers from Joann fabrics, you may also have a coupon or two that you could use. Oriental Trading has some great bulk prices, however, do not forget to calculate shipping into that.
Once you have your plan, purchase your items and assemble you bags as soon as possible.
Try to have them finished well before the "ship by" date, so that you have the option of choosing the least expensive shipping method. (However, please take note of the "receive by" date and make sure your package will reach your coordinator on time.)
In short, plan and do not procrastinate.
Q: Where do I sign up for a swap?
A: When a swap is open for registration, you will be able to access the swap sign up form. Look for a link in the top navigation bar under the header.
Q: This sounds like a lot of work and time. Can I just purchase already assembled busy bag sets?
A: Glad you asked. And yes, you can. Visit our store to see what we currently have available.