As a parent, you’re always looking for innovative new ideas to keep your kids entertained in ways that don’t involve a screen. Enter the busy box. D.I.Y kits that are guaranteed to delight your little humans and give you a few well-deserved minutes of peace and quiet. Here are our favourite picks:
Best ideas for a busy box
This is the perfect busy box for tots that are learning their colours, and the best part is that it’s super cheap to put together. You’ll need a muffin tin, a bag of colourful pom-poms, and perhaps a clothing pin if your kiddo has mastered the pincer grip. Show them how to sort by colour and then let them take over the show. Not you can get a few things done while they play.
This one is good for developing fine motor skills, and you’ll only need some buttons and yarn. Cut coloured yarn into long strands so your kid can make bracelets by stringing buttons onto the yarn. You really want to go for the largest, most colourful buttons you can find so that it’s easy for your toddler to handle.
The paperclip colour game is a great way to teach toddlers about colours and help them develop their fine motor skills. They can do this activity on their own while you tackle some chores around the house. To set up, you’ll have to fill a small container with coloured card stock and paperclips that match the paper. Show your tot how to attach the paperclips to the matching paper and Bob’s your uncle!
Fine motor skills like grasping and pouring are the biggest things that get developed when kids play with the bean box. You can fill a large tub with dry beans and small, colourful toys like plastic farm animals. Give your child a muffin tin and something to scoop with and then let them “fish” for the toys using their scooping tools. If you want to turn this into a sensory activity, don’t equip your little human with scooping tools and have them dig around in the beans with their hands instead.
If you’ve got older kids, you’ll be happy to know that they can still indulge in the good old busy box idea. But instead of fine motor activities, they’ll be focusing on Science, Technology, Engineering and Math skills. STEM bins contain engineering manipulatives for grade school kids to play with during their free time. You’ll have to check out Pinterest for these or head over to your local educational toy shop since these bins can contain a massive variety of items from Lego to pipe cleaners and even base ten blocks.