You want to hear something magical?
- Drinking a cup of coffee while it's hot
- Cleaning the kitchen without a little arm pulling on you
- A child who knows how to sit still(ish) and play quietly without a screen at an restaurant Are you gasping in awe at the possibility of those things?!
Obviously I'm being a bit silly here, but truly a busy box (Busy Bag, Buzy Bucket... call it what you may) is such a fabulous thing. It is a great opportunity for children to learn and practice how to play alone and quietly.
Filled with an assortment of toys and trinkets, this engages the imagination and fidgety bodies.
I think as adults we tend to say, "What do you do with this?" when looking at a random box of toys, but that's the point of a good quiet box. Toys that don't have instructions, batteries, or labels are the BEST for kids. There is no wrong way to play. (Ex: You'll see down in the pictures, one of the items is a "straw sorter" I made. When I first gave this to Oliver, he dumped the straws out and discovered he could roll the can back and forth. I was so tempted to say, "Wait. No. Oliver, you're suppose to put the straws through the lid. But here's the win - he found a new way to play with this! And soon enough he discovered the hole in the lid for sorting too.) I love the quote ,"Be careful that your teaching doesn't get in the way of learning".
I recently made one for my nephew and thought I’d give you some ideas of what you can put in. He’s two, which will reflect on the items. But for older or younger kids you can adjust. There are a billion ideas on Pinterest. But also just a walk through a dollar store will give you some ideas. I plopped everything in one box, since it was a gift, but you can easily put one thing in your busy box each day and really have some great practice on building those independent and quiet play skills. ***Pro tip - set the boundary early that when the Busy Box is done, everything goes back inside and the box is closed. This prevents random trinkets being skattered throughout the house. Also, part of keeping the magic of this box is not having access to it every moment. Store it somewhere and save it so that you as the parent get to decide when it "comes to play".
Here's a look:
Pack it all up and you have lots of fun ahead of you!
I hope you have lots of minutes of fun with some of these ideas. Happy exploring! Abby ***Don't forget... The Cirkles are Cheering You On!