G is 18 months old and LOVES to “do work” together. With his big sister M (now 5.5 years old), I created tot trays that rotated out weekly. However, despite my greatest efforts, G just tears the trays apart, leaving all sorts of pieces in his wake.
So, I needed something more compact but still compartmentalized. That’s where the busy box comes in.
I bought ten plastic shoeboxes from Target ($0.97 each) and set them out on our kitchen counter.
Then, the fun part came: filling them!
Clockwise from top left:
-Wooden Story Pieces (we always pick one up when we’re at a craft store)
-Dollar store pill box with tiny animals to hide inside
-Peg dolls I painted, plus some wooden cups that the pegs slide into
-Button drop with an old Puffs can
-Ice cube tray and pompoms (with a spoon because he also loves to stir everything!)
-Playdoh with tiny objects to hide inside or to make sculptures with
-Styrofoam, tees, and a hammer
We store them where HE can reach them, but I ALWAYS sit with him while he works.
He LOVES his boxes and I rotate the activities out based on how much he’s played with a particular one. I’m due with baby #3 in February and I think these will be great, ready-to-go learning activities for G! Even M has so much fun using them.
Some other favorite ideas we’ve used:
-Stamps, stamp pad, paper
-Crayons and paper
-Sugar shaker and toothpicks
-Chunky beads and string or pipe cleaners
-Pouring with two small plastic pitchers and pinto beans