Keep Your Little One Busy As a Bee With a "Busy Box"

Written by: Anna Rooney

What is a busy box? It is a box of 4 fun activities that can be re-used. The busy box contains 4 zip-lock activity bags. Each activity bag is filled with real-life objects that encourage fine-motor and sensory exploration. Many objects like cotton balls, spoons, cups, pasta, and sponges can be found around the house. The busy-box activities can encourage fun, purposeful exploration. It is influenced by the activities that I have seen in Montessori classrooms.

Who can use the busy box? The busy box example I am showing would be most appropriate for children ages 2-6.

How can I make a busy box? You will need a plastic box with a lid and 4 zip-lock bags. Each bag will contain materials for an activity so your box will have 4 different activities. The plastic box can be used for water exploration (using small amounts of water

What activities can I put in the busy box? Here are some activity/material suggestions:

  1. Scooping and pouring pasta: dry pasta and cups.
  2. Using tweezers: cotton balls and tweezers or clips.
  3. Exploring wet and dry: sponges and small amounts of water.
  4. Pouring water: small amounts of water, measuring spoons, and food dye (optional).
  5. Cleaning: spray bottle of water and cleaning brush.
  6. Polishing: cloth and silver spoons.
  7. Measuring water: squeeze dropper, water, and small measuring cups.
  8. Beading: large beads and rope
  9. Opening, closing, putting in and out: plastic eggs and cotton balls.
  10. Opening, closing, putting in and out: old jewelry and jars with lids.

How should I use a busy box? A busy box should be special. This means that you only use one activity bag at a time. This way you can rotate the activities and prevent boredom. After a while, you may be able to exchange materials between the activity bags.

When should I use a busy box? Use it when your child seems bored. Use it instead of sitting in front of a screen. Use it when you think your child needs to be occupied. Use it when you would like to interact with your child.

Why the busy box? A busy box keeps your child’s brain and body active. Children often like real-life activities so it is sometimes fun for them to explore objects that are not toys. 

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Posted on March 29, 2013 at 3:42 PM