I’ve done some busy bag exchanges in the past, but my ideas are always a bit limited because I have to make so many of them. So when Stephanie from Swoodson Says suggested a virtual busy bag exchange, I was really excited. I would just have to come up with an idea for a single busy bag, so I could put a lot of effort into making a super awesome one. And I might have gone a little overboard…
What You Need:
Clothesline (I found one at the Dollar Tree. I tried to use thinner twine I had around but it wasn’t thick enough for the clothespins to stay upright)
Felt (I love Benzie Design wool blend felt.)
Embroidery floss in matching colors
Water soluble or disappearing ink marker
Template – download the PDF
Cut out the socks from the template (two of each color) and cut out the heel and toe pieces out of an alternate felt color. I used the same color embroidery floss as the main felt color and did a whip stitch along the edges of the heel and toe pieces.
I drew the shapes onto the socks with the water soluble marker. I have 6 pairs – hearts, stars, squares, triangles, diamonds, and circles. I originally planned on using pieces of felt for the shapes, but they were so tiny and fiddly it just wasn’t worth it. So I just did a simple backstitch around the outline of each shape.
Now… here’s where I got a little crazy. This project could end right here. Your child uses the clothespins to clip the matching pairs together onto a clothesline and they have a fun color and shape matching game.
However, Jen from 52 Lasers offered to etch some clothespins for me and who am I to refuse? Lasers immediately took this project to a whole new level of awesomeness. She gave them to be etched with a piece of transfer tape over the top so I could paint them. I painted each shape to match the embroidered shape color on the sock.
Head over to 52 Lasers to read more about how she laser etched the clothespins.
And again, I could have left it there. But then it seemed like such a shame to not make a special bag to carry the activity in. I mean, a sock based matching game is just screaming for a laundry bag to store it in. I used this tutorial and made my first ever drawstring bag and it turned out pretty good!
Evie has been looking forward to playing with these socks for weeks, she’s been excited seeing me work on them. Mira was mostly just excited about the bag and spent the whole time putting all the clothespins in and then taking them all out again.
Evie wanted to develop a game and so we would take turns pulling a clothespin out of the bag and then finding the match. At the end she declared herself the winner and wanted to play again. Even though I apparently lost the game, I still consider that a success!
Check out what they’ve made each day:
Monday – Swoodson Says
Tuesday- Muse of the Morning
Wednesday – Hugs are Fun
Friday – Friends Stitched Together