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Toddler Busy Box

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 toddler busy box comes in.
toddler busy box
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!)
-Magnets
-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
-Sensory tubs with filler and tiny objects!
Written by Jill
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8 Comments

  • Reply Shonda

    I really want and need to do this for my daughter.

    December 20, 2012 at 5:36 am
  • Reply Katie

    This is a great way to have a variety of meaningful activities ready to go! I especially love the pill box with animals idea! Thanks for sharing 🙂

    January 15, 2013 at 4:20 am
  • Reply Katie

    This is a great way to have a variety of meaningful activities ready to go! I especially love the pill box with animals idea! Thanks for sharing 🙂

    January 15, 2013 at 4:21 am
  • Reply Katie

    This is a great way to have a variety of meaningful activities ready to go! I especially love the pill box with animals idea! Thanks for sharing 🙂

    January 15, 2013 at 4:21 am
  • Reply Poornima Kulkarni

    I loved this idea. I am going to try it with my daughter. She loves to scrunge through small, different things in boxes and especially zipped / sealed bags :))
    Thanks.

    January 22, 2013 at 11:15 am
  • Reply jessica hall

    I love this I am excited to see what you will do for may

    April 11, 2013 at 3:20 pm
  • Reply Jessie

    Where did you get the magnet stick?

    June 14, 2016 at 12:44 pm
    • Reply Nicole

      You can find them on Amazon or Teacher Stores

      July 3, 2016 at 2:30 am

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