Monday, November 22, 2010
Toddlers love boxes, especially boxes with things inside them. These boxes are fondly called "busy boxes" and are usually a medium size box with a lid, like a child's shoe box or even a plastic container with a snug fitting lid. The idea behind a busy box is to keep toddlers entertained while Mom or Dad is busy doing something else.
Busy boxes are meant to be explored by the child. Fill the box with a different activity each time to keep things fresh and interesting. Some great choices for busy box activities are:
Large beads on a string (large enough so they're not a choking hazard)
Crayons and paper
Stickers and toilet paper tubes for decorating
Age appropriate puzzles
Short pieces of textured ribbon
The key to a successful busy box encounter is to have a specific place for busy box play. For some this might be a blanket spread in a corner of the room, and then the child can play on the blanket with the box. For others it might be some time in the playpen with the activity, or even at a chair at the kitchen table.
Keep busy box time short. Some toddlers have a longer attention span than others, but anything in excess of 30 minutes is likely to end in boredom and frustration. Keep an eye on the time with your michele watch and then move the child on to another activity before they become restless.
Encourage the child to pick which box they want to have and encourage them to only have one box at a time per session so that they do not constantly want a different box.
Busy box time can be fun and exciting for toddlers, and it allows Mom or Dad to get some work done without being pulled on by bored children.