What is the miniswap?
It is a mail swap between our children (for the children, by the children–with a little help from you and me)–a chance to let them get in on the fun of sending and receiving a brown paper package.
::We will swap by household. Keep in mind, you might sign up one
child, but be swapped with a household of two or three children. This
doesn’t mean you have to put together three times as much stuff, but it
might be nice to include something small for each of the children.
::Originally I didn’t put an age limit on participation. But
this year, I’m going to say two years and up. The idea of this swap is
that our children are really participating. Please use good judgment about where to cap it off
at the older end. (And just for the record, if you were my partner and
signed up your four year old, but there was a 12 month old crawling
around your house, I’d want to know so I could include a little
something for him/her. I wouldn’t want to leave those babes out all
together. But I’ll leave that up between partners.)
::The swap is open to anyone, so please be willing to ship overseas when you sign up.
::I always try to be budget-conscious. Try to keep the bulk of your
swap goodies in the handmade or hand-me-down category. One year my
partner passed on gently used books, a stuffed toy and other goodies
(among other fantastic things)–and my kids loved it. And the sentiment
behind her children wanting to pass on a special toy to another child
was priceless.This swap is not meant to break the bank.
::Need ideas of things to include? You can check out the miniswap flickr group. Or, leave a comment after this post of some of the highlights from last year. I’d love to hear and I’m sure others would, too.
::Please include a postcard or small map showing where you’re from. (I forgot to do this last year, again… oops.)
::Please ship packages by February 22. That should give you about a month to put it all together.
HOW TO SIGN UP:
I will open the sign ups on Tuesday morning at 10:00am. ET. I think I can handle the logistics of 125 participants. I think. All you need to do is send an email to miniswap (at) gmail (dot) com and include:
1. your name
2. email address
4. name and age of your child/children.
I will then swap names randomly, and contact half the list with their partner’s email address. That partner will be in charge of starting the communication between the two of you. . I’ll let you know when families are paired and that first email goes out so that you can be watching your inbox.
Last year there were lots of problems with people’s emails going into spam or junk mail folders, so partners thought they weren’t being contacted, or their partner didn’t want to participate. Please be watchful and aware of that problem. It is those kind of glitches that make it get complicated and extra work.
And lastly, PLEASE only sign up if you’re seriously interested. Last year, I had a good handful of no-shows when it finally came down to it. It’s frustrating when I turned away many people who wanted to be part of the mini swap and people who signed up didn’t follow through. And more importantly, it left some pretty disappointed partners (and children). So please only sign up if you’re really sure you can participate.
After sign ups close, I’ll get together some code so you can put the button on your blog, if you wish. And as always, please pass the word on your blog that miniswap 3 is getting started.
Phew!!! I think that’s it….I’m looking forward to another fun year of swapping!
31 comments on “mini swap 3”
I wish I had kids so I could participate. Hmm… if my kids at the Library are up to it and their parents don’t mind, do you think I could participate with them? There are six kids that come in on Tuesdays and that would be the group I participated with. Let me know if I should ask them about it!
Hooray! We cannot wait!
so great, molly. could we include the state we live in?? i know last year that there were four of us in portland who all got each others stuff. it was easy on the postage, but you know… 🙂
Such a wonderful idea . . . perhaps next time for Ben, he’s a little too young, but how exciting for the little ones.
Molly, that’s so weird. Mark asked me just yesterday if we could send another parcel to the friends we made in Miniswap 2. I would have thought he’d forgotten all about it, but that boy is an elephant!
He’ll be so excited when I tell him there’s another (although perhaps I’d better wait and check we’ve got a slot first…)
This is right on time for us too. My second child is old enough to help out now too. Can’t wait to see who/where we get this year.
Yippee!! I did this last year (at least, I think it was last year… it all passes so quickly…) and one of the best things my partner sent was a hand-knit, stuffed elephant. It’s a favorite of mine & will be treasured for a long time 🙂
Sounds like fun ~ hope we make it! 🙂
Ooooh! So much fun! We can’t wait!
Oh awesome! My little guy will LOVE this!!!!
oh my boys willl LOVE this! I hope I can remember to sign up! I’ll have to set on of those reminder things on my computer! lol
Yea!!! I’m so excited to do this again.
We did this last year and it was so much fun both to make things and to get the package. If you are not sure if you’d like to do it, I would highly recommend it.
Hooray – we had such fun last year!
Hi, is this open to newcomers? I have only stumbled across your blog via another (as you do) this morning. I’m an Australian Mum and would love to join in if you’d consider me.~KM
Oh, I didn’t realize I have to wait until Tuesday – but I’ll resend my info then! As for foods (I’m just catching up on posts), my kids who are now 11 and 13 used to graze through the day – now they graze through the night! But we used to put muffin trays on our table while we homeschooled and I would fill the little cups with different foods. Raisins, chex, nuts of different kind, blueberries, cherries, orange slices… I also have a small bowl filled with just a bit of water and put in cut up peppers, celery, cherry tomoatoes, cucumbers. My kids like humas and crackers too.
One thing I would do (and still do now at least once a week) is get them to help me make some kind of quick bread at the “start” of school – banana, poppyseed, zucchini, etc. and it would be ready just as they needed a snack. We all love fresh warm bread and it is a nice mid-morning snack. You can freeze some of the ingredients or get them ready the night before if it sounds daunting to make bread when you are doing other hs things. I just keep all the ingredients close together in one cabinet.
As for breakfast, we eat a lot of pancakes, waffles, eggs (scrambled, fried with ham and English Muffins made into sandwiches, bacon and eggs and toast, French toast (with cinnamon bread), bananas and yogurt, and oatmeal.
Ooooh, very excited about this!How exciting- some new babes to watch grow through the winter…guess those finches don’t worry about seasons inside the warm and cozy house. We have Triops (tadpole shrimp) babies here.Hope you’re enjoying your warm and snuggly weekend.
This sounds like so much fun! The mini-swap would be new for us, but right up our alley. Hope we make it!Susan
We would love to sign up too – me and Lily. We live in Australia and we would be happy to post overseas.
we are so so so excited! thank you molly for putting it together. i know it is a ton of work for you. i really appreciate it.
aaargh! tuesday! i’ll never get the time zone thing right…perhaps i’d better sit here until sign ups open…hitting the refresh button! my 3 would love to play..even #3 because he loves the ‘pohtmaaan’
I’m in (I mean my 11 yo son, Max.
Thanks for the bumper sticker, BTW. I can’t wait to get it!
Could some folks mention some of the stuff that they put into their own swap package last time? This is new to us!
Amalia and I really hope to make it for the miniswap this year. It was fun making the package for last years swap. I already have so many ideas for this time.
Please sign me (Katie and my son Lincoln)up. We live in WV and have participated the past 2 years and absolutely LOVE that you do this. Thank you for all the time and energy you put into this swap. It is really appreciated!!!
We participated last year and it was so much fun – we traded info with our swap partner: fave animal and color and went from there. My girl loved receiving her package!
What a great idea! Molly, I’ve been reading your blog for awhile and just had to add my comments on this one. My daughter is only 17 days old…so a little young to participate…smile…but maybe in a few years! I just LOVE this idea. I’m sure it’s a lot of work but so many people are very appreciative! Thanks for all your wonderful ideas, thought provoking posts, creativity, honesty…I’ve just really enjoyed your blog. Thank you!
We’ve received the e-mail, been in touch with our swap partners, and are raring to go!
what a cute idea! maybe next time my daughter will be old enough!
are you planning on hosting another? I’d love to join for my kids to participate….it would be a fun thing to do this summer.
I just posted this idea on my new blog and hopefully will get a few buddies to start this up. Love it! +Thanks!+
Hey Molly- My kids and I think this would be SO much fun. Count us in!