Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Busy Boxes

Yesterday marked the start of our homeschool for the year. This year I have two toddlers in the house. I haven't had those in a while. I knew I should have a plan in place to help keep them busy & entertained otherwise it would be a difficult year so I started putting together some toddler "busy boxes."

I went to Wal-Mart on Sunday & picked up some clear plastic shoe boxes & one other larger tote. I also bought some large alphabet blocks (very cute!), and some inexpensive measuring cups & plastic mixing spoons. I had a large list of ideas of boxes to put together.

  • Blocks (check - just got them & they even came with a handy little storage bag)
  • Large duplos
  • Real phone (check - dug it out of the yard sale items)
  • mixing bowls/spoons/cups (check)
  • widgets (check - although I need to go dig out the last couple to complete the set)
  • margarine containers & lids (will continue to add to & they'll go in the "kitchen" box)
  • tape & paper
  • toddler train (made out of shoe boxes)
  • dolls (like I have a ton of those around - ha!)
  • bean bags (plan to make from odd socks & beans & yes, I will be sure they are tightly secured)
  • contact paper
  • texture touch items
  • sensory bottles
  • shakers
  • Velcro box

Now, I may not do ALL of these items & I may add to them. I also was blessed by my older sister yesterday who came for a visit. I mentioned what I had bought at Wal-Mart & she showed up with a large tote full of appropriate toys - include a small tub of Duplos. I know I have them - somewhere - so this saved me time in looking for mine. She also brought some more toy phones (which were a HUGE hit today), a Lamaze brand soft stacking ring & miscellaneous other baby toys.

I also pulled out - okay for some reason J did this today but it was perfect - the Aquadoodle pad we have. The girls LOVED it as evidenced below.

They were also thrilled when I pulled out the "cooking" box. It had two small plastic containers, the measuring cups, measuring spoons, & mixing spoons. Miss L even dumped a bowl & spoon in to the playpen for Miss H to play with. I think it was an accident but I'll take it.

I did not "de-pants" Miss H - she did that ALL by herself! She's such a big girl & yes, I did put a different pair on shortly after this. ;-)

The hardest part of today was not having both girls while we did school this morning. It wasn't that I slept in a bit later than I wanted so I missed starting my day the way I wanted to. It wasn't even doing preschool with J before tackling the rest of the school day with the two older boys. No, all that was easy. The hard part?? It was getting J & N to let the girls play with all the new toys!!! Shheessh! I had to lay down the law with them. The new rules are:

  • These toys are for the babies only!
  • They are only for school time!
  • They are NOT to disappear in to their rooms with them as I know they will be gone forever.
  • They can only play with them with my permission.

We'll see how long it lasts. The bins are stacked in my hallway so I can monitor their use both with the boys and the babies. Tomorrow I'm going to try Plan B & we'll see how it goes. I'll be sure to post.

Of course, lunch around here is ALWAYS highly anticipated. I'll leave you to check out this grin....


  1. Great job, Lisa. It seems like you are getting very well organized. We have the same problem around here with the activities. If I set Dan up with something then everyone wants to play with it. Geesh!

    Hope you get into a good groove.

  2. I looked for an Aqua Doodle for Carys last year but couldn't find one for what I thought was a reasonable price. I'll have to keep looking!

  3. Great job, Lisa. You're a pro. I really need to do something like this for Stacia. Thanks for the motivation.

  4. Love the ideas, we're knee deep in tiny tot antics right now, and these look like great ideas to keep her busy! Thanks!

  5. Just love the idea of busy boxes... have written down a list as I was reading your post. going to start this with my toddler tomorrow. thanks for sharing.


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