Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Christmas Busy Boxes for Babies and Toddlers

Even though it's only November, it seems that Christmas is fast approaching! Today I'm sharing with you two simple but fun and engaging busy boxes for babies and toddlers, that I made last year.

When I talk about 'busy boxes' I'm simply talking about a simple discovery box which will keep babies and toddlers busy for a couple of minutes.

As you'll see, busy boxes don't have to be complex or expensive, they can simply be made up of whatever you have on hand.

Ever since I saw Rachael from Nothing if Not Intentional's Christmas Discovery Boxes I'd wanted to make my own. My boxes aren't nearly as awesome as Rachael's, in fact one of them isn't even a box but Squiggles loved them!

Mirror Busy Box
To make this box up I simply raided my Christmas decoration box for some jingle bells and added in a set of nesting mirror boxes I picked up at Kmart (sorry I can't find any similar ones online to link you to).

That was it! A very simple set up but it gained Squiggles' attention straight away-she had fun moving the bells from one box to the next and then checking herself out in the mirror.

She examined the bells, taking them out one at a time and then placing them all in a mirror box and giving them a good shake. It was one of those activities that she just kept coming back to and finding new ways to explore.

Jingle Bell Basket
This basket was an extension on the Mirror Box which partly came about because I found some awesome giant jingle bells at our local discount shop (similar to these).

Set up for this basket was just as easy as the Mirror Busy Box, I simply placed some large and small jingle bells in a basket, along with one of the mirror shadow boxes and then placed the basket on a rug outside.

Squiggles took great delight in exploring the bells by shaking them, trying to taste them, looking at them and touching them with her hands and feet.

She loved the sound they made as she dumped the whole basket on the rug!

Surprisingly, Squiggles didn't imitate the way she'd played with the Mirror Busy Box. Instead she explored the mirror by looking at the reflection of the trees and then pulling the leaves off my trees to add to the mirror box.

The Jingle Bell Basket was a hit and stuck around until I decided to take it into the classroom where my 2 and 3 year olds had a ball playing jingle bell balance, building with the bells in the block area and using them as accompaniments to loud renditions of 'Jingle Bells'.

If you liked this activity then you may like Five Busy Boxes for Babies-part of Lemon Lime Adventures series The Ultimate Guide to Baby's First Year:

 Please always supervise your infant/child at play.  Please stay within arms reach and never leave infants/children unattended.  You know you're infant/child best, use your own judgement-considering your infant/child's temperament, habits, behaviour and development before you play with a new play medium. Click here for our full disclosure and disclaimer policy.

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