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January Busy Boxes for Your Toddlers

January Busy Boxes for Your Toddlers
We are still LOVING our busy boxes over here (which are similar to busy bags)! About twice a day, G (20 months) will say, “Box? Box?” and drag me over to the cupboard to select one of the fun activities. I switch out the activities once a month so here are some of the fun ideas included in our January Busy Boxes!

How to Store Busy Boxes

First, I store them all in a cabinet that is at his level. He get get his own busy boxes down. I’m glad I got the clear boxes because it makes it easier to choose.

January Busy Box Ideas

January Busy Boxes

Winter Sensory Tub

This month, in our January busy boxes, I changed out our rice tub to a WINTER sensory bin (pictured above). I dyed some of the rice blue and left some natural. Here’s how you dye pasta and rice. I hid tiny eggs, a nest, pinecones, snowflakes, pom poms, and winter animals. He LOVES it. This sensory box is perfect for independent play and quiet time!

January Busy Boxes


G still loves to snack on the squeezy food pouches and I still wash and save each lid! It took me a little bit of time to save up this many, but it is worth it. One box contains a BUNCH of lids and he loves playing with them! We make towers, he lines them up, and yes, sometimes he just likes to throw them! These lids are also a fun way introduce sorting, counting, and patterning.


Counting Bears and Ice Cube Tray

Another fun box contains an ice cube tray and some tiny counting bears (affiliate link). He loves to take them out, put them in, and just play with them. We talk about colors and even do some pretend play by making them talk and run and jump. It is awesome that they come up with their own ideas on how to use the materials. 

January Busy Boxes

Sugar Shaker and Toothpicks

I picked up a sugar shaker at the dollar store and placed it in the box, along with toothpicks and pipe cleaners snipped short. It takes so much concentration and fine motor skills to push each one through the tiny holes. He loves it and now is trying to figure out how to remove the lid on his own.


Our last box came mostly from the Dollar Tree, but you can get these supplies at your local craft store. I grabbed these big stamp pads and matched them with them with some chunky foam stamps (from HERE). He LOVES pushing the big stamps into the huge pads and making masterpieces (which yes, sometimes end up on his arms!).


Busy boxes are so much fun and when we welcome a new baby in February, this will be a great way for G to get some fun learning in while this busy mom is nursing or changing diapers! They are easy to clean up because you just toss everything back in and put it back on the shelf. Your older kids can also help your toddler with the different things in these boxes.

Remember, successful busy boxes are things that engage your child. You don’t have to spend a ton of time preparing them. Keep it simple and see what works best for your young learners.

Check out how we made our original Toddler Busy Box and the first box ideas we included. 

Try Our Other Busy Box Activities: 

February Busy Boxes

March Busy Boxes

April Busy Boxes

May Busy Boxes

June Busy Boxes

July Busy Boxes

November Busy Boxes

December Busy Boxes


Remember, busy boxes with small pieces require parental supervision.

Written by Jill


Thursday 28th of February 2013

I like how you switch out the activities each month...I'm impressed! Might have to adopt that. Want to try the shaker & toothpick activity, as well as the ice cube tray. Thanks for all these great ideas!


Thursday 10th of January 2013

Jill... love these ideas! Keeping them at my little guys level would mean a huge mess though. He would empty them all at once for sure. lol He's almost 3 and testing me. I started saving the fruit squeeze lids as well.

Kirstylee Cassidy

Tuesday 8th of January 2013

These are awesome. I just started doing tot trays (which are the same as busy boxes, but on trays) with my toddler. So far, he likes them, but this is only his first week trying them out. We'll see what happens in the future. Here are the winter themed activities for his trays.


Tuesday 8th of January 2013

Lovely ideas! Thank you for sharing them. I am sure Aarya(son) would love all of these bins. Thanks for the inspiration.


Monday 7th of January 2013

Welcome to a new Linky Party for Kid-Focused Bloggers. Monday Kid Corner is a place to share your kid-friendly activities and crafts. Please join us at See you there!