Why I Made a Busy Box
What is a Busy Box?
Busy boxes are similar to busy bags, but they stay at home and are usually larger or have more pieces than a busy bag. They are a great way to provide quiet time for a busy mom or as a special activity to work together on with your toddler.
Successful busy boxes usually include activities and materials that are not always available. This keeps your child excited about using them.
How to Make Busy Boxes
First, I bought ten plastic shoeboxes from Target ($0.97 each). I like that they are clear and come with lids so I can stack them and my toddler can see what’s inside. Then, to get started I set them out on our kitchen counter. Then, the fun part came: filling them!
Busy Box Ideas
Clockwise from top left:
Wooden Story Pieces
These are inexpensive at the craft store and we pick up a couple every time we are there and they are on sale. Your toddler will surprise you with what they do with these pieces. Line them up, stack them, sort them, or create a story with them. I like that this is an open ended activity that can be used in different ways.
Pill Box with Tiny Animals
The pill box is from the dollar store. Opening and closing this box is great for fine motor skills. If you don’t have tiny animals, you can include gems, buttons, or pom poms. Watch your toddler with these small objects.
I painted these peg dolls (affiliate link) and the cups that they fit into. If you’re not feeling crafty, these peg dolls come already painted. Your child will spend hours in imaginative play with these. When your child seems to be bored with exploring the peg dolls by themselves, add other objects like blocks, craft sticks, or large buttons. It will inspire the play to continue in a different way.
Cut a slit in the top of an old Puffs can or Pringles can. Your toddler will love to drop the large buttons into the container and dump them out over and over again.
Some other favorite busy box activities we’ve tried:
- 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 bin with dyed pasta
- Muffin tin and blocks
- Popsicle Sticks and Container to Drop them Into
- Magnetic Letters
- Slices of Pool Noodle
- Hot Wheels Car and Paper Roads or Painters Tape to Make Roads
- Farm Animals and Matching Pictures of the Animals
Need MORE Busy Box Ideas?
Use these ideas to rotate your busy boxes:
January Busy Boxes
February Busy Boxes
March Busy Boxes
April Busy Boxes
May Busy Boxes
June Busy Boxes
July Busy Boxes
November Busy Boxes
December Busy Boxes
Written by Jill