Busy Boxes: grab-and-go boxes filled with easy activities
I saw this great idea from Busy Toddler for restaurant boxes filled with some little activities that your kids can do while you're waiting for your food. I read through lots of the comments as well, and I was thinking, "Man I want to start going out to eat JUST so I can make one of these boxes!"
Then it hit me: there are a few times during a typical week when something like this would be perfect for me! Annabelle takes one nap most days (some days two), and Alexander usually busies himself with an activity. Sometimes he'll just rest on the couch, honestly. But occasionally, he just really needs help finding something to do. And on those days, I grab the iPad. Another time this would be useful? Around 5pm on a loooong day when my husband won't be home for another hour, and I really just don't know what to do with Alexander.
Important note! I'm totally okay with my kids being bored. Boredom breeds creativity! And most days, Alexander is pretty great at finding something interesting to do if I don't have something planned. This is a backup plan for me, not something I intend to use every day!
Okay the disclaimers are out of the way!
These boxes were really fun to put together, and I plan to make several more. I don't know how many uses I'll get out of each box, but I believe they'll each last a few days. The four boxes I've made so far should last me a month, if I had to guess!
Here are the four I came up with so far:
- In the heart box, I've made a pattern with beads (on a pipe cleaner). I included the same beads and pipe cleaner so Alexander can recreate the pattern.
- Baby book of wild animals plus the tiny matching figures.
- Small homemade book of shapes (heart, square, circle, and triangle) plus stickers and a crayon: the stickers can be placed on the hearts I drew, and the crayon can be used to trace the shapes.
- A pill sorter (we don't take any pills; I bought this specifically for sorting!) filled with 7 colors of beads.
- Seashells marked with colored dots, to match the beads.
- Colored squares of paper for matching.
- Colored felt shapes for more matching.
- Color gradient tablets I made about 2 years ago!
- A tiny box filled with coins.
- Four envelopes with one of each coin taped to the outsides, plus the amount of the coin and the name of it. (I figure, if anything, he can learn that the "puh" word is equal to 1.)
- Shiny paper and shiny stickers.
- Six envelopes with words written on them.
- Six popsicle sticks with the same words written on them. (He'll put the stick in the envelope.)
- All the letters necessary to spell all six words. He can do with them as he pleases.
If you decide to do busy boxes, you'll have to tag me on Instagram @mostlymontessori so I can see! Thanks for reading!