Create a ‘busy box’

What’s a busy box?  It’s a box (any box will do!) where you can keep small toys and games ready to pack in a bag and…

What’s a busy box?  It’s a box (any box will do!) where you can keep small toys and games ready to pack in a bag and take out and about.

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Keeping a selection of toys in a box all together makes it  easy to find something small enough to go in a handbag or for your child to carry when you go out.  Handy for car journeys (just take the whole box and place on the back seat), restaurants,  church or anywhere else where you want to make sure the children have something to keep them busy.

Here’s some tried and tested (by a 6 and 9 year old) ideas.  You’ll know what your children are into and can tailor the box contents accordingly. 
busy box 1

  • Usborne Activity Pads‘ – lots of games and activities
  • Dinky Doodles‘ activity books – these ones are small but packed with fun stuff and stickers
  • Slider puzzles – classic puzzles
  • Jawbones‘ – this little tub of pieces that click together is great for children who like construction toys (I try not to let Lego leave the house – it always gets lost!)

Busy box 2

  • Puzzles – Rubix cubes and other puzzles are great for older children
  • Top Trumps‘ – a timeless game – I remember long car journeys spent playing these
  • Fidget toys – ‘Koosh‘ balls, ‘Tangles‘ etc – just good for busy fingers
  • Metal puzzles – another classic puzzle toy – better for older children

Busy box 3

  • Little cars in a tin – I added some felt roads to the tin and the cars are from ‘Kinder’ eggs
  • Small dinosaurs
  • Toy cars (Hot Wheels, Matchbox etc.)
  • Little play scene in a tin – I made this with paper, scraps of fabric and craft foam. The pink figure is made from ‘Fimo’.

Busy box 4

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  • Good old notebook and pen – don’t forget all the simple games you can play – hangman, tic tac toe, squares etc.  There’s some suggestions here.
  • ‘Kinder’ egg toys
  • Wooden puzzles 
  • Silly Putty‘ – so simple but so much fun.  Much nicer colours than when I was little.

Busy box 5

  • Small versions of card games (the ‘Uno’ was from ‘McDonalds’)
  • Pin ball games – another classic

Pile everything into a box or basket and keep in a handy place close to the door then grab what you need and go!