Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Busy Boxes

We’re pretty much set to get started on our new school year here!  Since I would really like to accomplish the majority of our school work in the morning this year, it’s important to have ways to keep my littles (2 yrs old & turning 4) occupied while I work with Alex.

The plan right now is to start the day with Max’s Little Hands To Heaven.  Jensyn can tag-along if she’d like.  After they’ve had some special time with me, then I’ll have them do ‘room time’ or ‘blanket time’ with one of the bins pictured below.  I’d like to build up to 30 minutes of room time.  I think Max could easily do it; I’m not sure yet how long Jensyn will last.

We are participating in a Monday co-op.  We will have four ‘at home’ days each week, and I made 6 busy boxes.  This way, they will rotate through the boxes every 1.5 weeks.  Hopefully that will keep the toys exciting throughout the year!

With the exception of the Day & Night toy, all of these are toys that we have around our house.   I bought one new toy, and I bought $2 storage bins to hold the toys.  That’s it! :)

The Day & Night Puzzle toy is the ONE toy that I purchased new this year.  When I saw this toy was added to Timberdoodle’s preschool selection for this year, I was intrigued.  After reading about the toy, I *knew* all 3 of my kiddos would LOVE it…and they do!   They are a little disappointed that, after less than a week of play, I hid it away in a box.  I think that will make it EXTRA special when it comes up in the rotation, though!

You use the enclosed spiral book to build the picture, either using the ‘day’ picture to copy exactly or the ‘night’ picture to build it based on a shadow.  If you use the ‘night’ picture to build it, you can turn the book around to self-correct by looking at the ‘day’ picture on the back side.


Here’s what is in the boxes (description BELOW each picture).
I linked to the items, when possible, to help you find similar items.

I will rotate with a few other puzzles we own, and I will rotate through different board books as well, in order to keep things exciting throughout the year.

Day & Night Puzzle (this is a HIT with all 3 of my kids!)
Leap Frog Paint Palette Puzzle
Airplane board book
Curious George figuring
Counting Bears (I’ll add a construction paper, laminated mat to sort by color)
(Ours bears are a multi-sized set from a thrift store,
and I only used the large ones, since Jensyn still puts things in her mouth)

PLAN toys shape sorter
Aquadoodle Travel
VeggieTales FindIt Tube
Jonah book (from a dollar store)
letter matching file folder game with velcro (all uppercase)
(I made that file folder game 3 years ago…not sure if I still have the file.)


Wedgits  (currently on sale at Amazon!)
Circo magnetic puzzle (you use a magnetic ‘bug catcher’ to pull out the pieces)
lacing beads, laces, and pipe cleaner (lacing beads from Target’s dollar spot)
mini magnadoodle (Target knockoff stocking stuffer)
Seseame Street board book


Mr. Potato Head
Color Wonder markers & books
foam square blocks & a ‘ten frame’
Leap Frog fishy colors puzzle
flashcard puzzles– 10 picture flashcards, cut in half, to put back together
Jesus and The 12 Dudes Who Did book


color matching file folder game with velcro (possibly from
colored pompom puffballs, ice cube tray (from Meijer), and crocodile tongs
(I would NEVER pay $18 for the crocodile tongs…wow, are they pricy right now!)
My First Barrel of Monkeys (large, numbered monkeys 1 – 10)
board books


mitten match file folder game (I have NO CLUE what site this is from!)
Melissa & Doug beginning pattern block set
Dora book
David & Goliath figurines
Disney Magic Clip Princess & dresses

So…we’ll see how the Busy Box idea works in our house, but this is our plan to keep the little ones busy (and hopefully out of mischief!) this school year! Winking smile

Disclosure: This post contains Amazon affiliate links.  If you make a purchase after clicking one of these links, I will receive a very small portion of your sale.  Thank you! :)

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