Toddler busy box ideas
What is a toddler busy box?
A busy box is a clever, fun, learning, engaging box filled with activities and creative games to keep your toddler busy. A busy box requires much attention from your child.
They should encourage your child’s motor skills, exploration, discovering and solving skills while encouraging independent play.
What’s nice about them?
I like these boxes because my son did not even notice he was learning while playing.
Best thing about it is that they are flexible, we can DIY and custom make it to suit our child’s needs. And as the child grows you may customize it. Anything educational for my son is a win for me.
I saw clever ideas that boxes were made for Sunday to Saturday and rotation so your child doesn’t get bored with the same old staff.
Where and when can we use busy boxes?
On quiet days at home, for long and short trips in the car, busy restaurants and grocery shops, at a friend’s house or have friends over, sensory bags at church, as your child is extra hyper or fussy and you need a bit of quiet ?, when you would like to get some chores done such as dishes or cook a meal etc.
Who is a toddler?
A child aged 12 months to 36 months (approximately 1 year to 3 years old). Toddler years are busy years, and exploring years.
You child notices that they are able to say no and do things on their own. If your child is too quiet, check on them. Lol ?, it’s safe to say not with these boxes.
What do toddlers like?
From my observation: my son at this age likes anything sparkly, colorful, noisy, opens and closes, household items (pot and pan lids).
He also likes things we use daily like cellphone, items he sees other people with, things with buttons, water, that responds to touch and make a mess.
He still uses his mouth primarily to taste. Whatever is given to him goes straight to the mouth.
Each child will have different likes and preferences. Start small and take it from there.
What do you need for a busy box?
Various paper crafts and stationary
Empty Tissue rolls
Straw / pipe cleaners
Mini Pringles box with a slit on the lid
Open and close containers
Coloring books / paper
Sealed rice, popcorn, buttons or beads bottle for shaking.
Remote control or an old keyboard.
Fidget spinner for kids
A lock ? and key
Spare phone ? / tablet that’s not working
Landline ?that’s not working
Magnetic toys /fridge magnets
Metal tray or cupcake pan
Dinosaurs (small figurines)
What else can we add?
- A small bell
- Colored pegs
- Post it notes
- Stacking spoons or cups
- Baby toy calculator or shop till
- Baby laptop
- Empty bottles and lids to close
- Colored Straws
- Rice in a bottle
- Small Cars ?
- Glow sticks
- Small balls ⚽
- Stacking blocks (or wooden)
- Colored Ice-cream / Popsicle sticks
- Clip board
- Different shaped and colored lids
- Pool noodles
- String / wool
- different types of fabric
- Cards or flash cards
- Color in papers
- bottles in various sizes and shapes
- Ziploc bags to make sensory bags
- Finger puppets
- Thoroughly clean spice bottles
- Empty tissue box
- Tissue box
- Cotton balls
- Fake snow
- Felt paper
- Flash cards
- Clothes pegs
- Hair ties
- Blocks (wooden, bamboo, Lego pieces, building blocks)
- DRY erase boards
- Rattles and toys
- Macaroni / pasta / different shapes and colors
- Soft / felt numbers
- Teething rings
- A huge, dark colored blanket for your child to sit on and play. (makes cleanup easier for you).
Creative ideas to keep your toddler busy:
You may use all the items listed above individually or together or as sensory bags in Ziploc bags. (that’s what the glycerin and glitter are for ?, I tried baby oil but the glitter just stuck into a ball instead of loosely floating).
Sensory bags are Ziploc bags filled with fun squishy items that allow children to play, explore and learn while using their senses.
Bolts and nuts for babies.
Music and songs using musical instruments.
Let toddlers help you clean up with small manageable tasks.
Play with older siblings or friends.
Check out these learning and educational apps for your toddler (links to reviews of each app at the bottom of the page)
What NOT to add to the toddler busy box:
Objects that can choke such as small hard things like beads and candy to avoid choking.
Water according to the weather. And because water is messy, can easily flood and chock kids. Unless it’s blazing hot, you are outdoors and keeping a watchful eye.
Anything that can spill should be closed tightly and wrapped up in tape. I add a piece of plastic that covers the mouth of the bottle before closing the lid.
Messy substances that will stain unless you would want to clean up.
Keep glue closed up and out of reach.
Go for organic (bamboo, 100% cotton) , kitchen-made and eco-friendly products. Because they are less likely to have harmful chemicals.
In conclusion: a busy box is simply a box filled with activities and creative games to keep your toddler busy. Remember to always keep a watchful eye on your toddler. The more the merrier. Step in and play with them for a little.
More ? knowledge from MrsChettyLife: abcs-of-kidloland-app/
It’s important to keep your child safe at all times.
I got a first aid level one certification and did a post on child safety.
Plus download a free emergency contact checklist for your fridge door: child-safety/
Learn about these wonderful Christmas DIYs to make with your toddler whilst keeping them busy diy-kids-christmas-ornaments/
For more on sensory bags, check out: sensory-bags