the domestic tales of four sisters

DIY Quiet Time Busy Boxes

I’ve been thinking about making these for quite some time now and just never seemed to get around to doing so.  They’re a fabulous way to keep older children quiet busy while younger ones are sleeping.  So, when the 3 year olds quit napping and I still had an infant who did, making Quiet Time Busy Boxes became priority #1 and I’ve been using them during the afternoon center time I mentioned in my Mommy Preschool post! The kids have been loving them and we’re enjoying over an hour each day of quiet time without turning on the TV!

For the actual boxes I went to the Dollar Tree and scored the fun colorful ones for, well, $1/each.  I was also able to get just about everything I used in the boxes from there as well, with just a few exceptions. While some of the activities could have fit into pencil case bags, I decided to go with boxes because it’s the same price and if I ever switch out the activities I know just about anything will fit.

What did I include?

Step by step instructions (and tons of ideas) to create quiet time busy boxes for preschoolers.
$1 foam puzzle + $1 bag of rice = fun sensory experience/ pre-math activity (the kids search through and find the letters then complete the puzzle)
Step by step instructions (and tons of ideas) to create quiet time busy boxes for preschoolers.
$1 bag of pom poms + $1 kitchen tongs + $1 muffin tin = color matching/ sorting/ small motor activity (the kids pick up each ball with the tongs and sort them by color into the muffin tin)
Step by step instructions (and tons of ideas) to create quiet time busy boxes for preschoolers.
$1 foam counting blocks + FREE printable from allourdays.com = Block Puzzles (the kids use the blocks to fill in the outlined area)

Printable can be found here.

Step by step instructions (and tons of ideas) to create quiet time busy boxes for preschoolers.
FREE cardstock + FREE stickers (I had already) + FREE clothespins = counting/ number recognition/ small motor activity (the kids count the number of stickers and place the clothespin above the correct number)

 

Step by step instructions (and tons of ideas) to create quiet time busy boxes for preschoolers.
$1 Large Craft Sticks + $2 Velcro Dots = Shape Making (I also included a box of shape cards so they can look at a card and then make the shape)
Step by step instructions (and tons of ideas) to create quiet time busy boxes for preschoolers.
$1 Craft Sticks + FREE Paint Strips =
Step by step instructions (and tons of ideas) to create quiet time busy boxes for preschoolers.
AWESOME color matching activity!

Are the kidos enjoying them?

Step by step instructions (and tons of ideas) to create quiet time busy boxes for preschoolers.
The is a $1 box of letter cards I grabbed at the dollar store and then Easter eggs with the upper and lower case letters written one on each half. I’ve been having them match up the cards first (self correcting) and then using the cards to match up the eggs.

Step by step instructions (and tons of ideas) to create quiet time busy boxes for preschoolers.

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I’d say they’re definitely fans! The best part, for me anyway, is that they’re learning! Even though they may not realize it! 🙂

In total, I made 12 bins each with a different activity.  I don’t get them all down each day though.  I shoot for offering one more activity than kids present (4 if there’s 3 kids, etc) and I always have our Leappads and educational computer games as a choice so they’re not getting bored of the boxes too fast.  The final list of all the activities included…

  1. Pom Pom Color Sorting
  2. Letter Card/Easter Egg Letter Matching
  3. Paint Strip Color Matching
  4. Counting/Number Recognition (clothespins)
  5. Sensory/Puzzle (rice and foam puzzle)
  6. Foam Blocks Puzzle Cards (FREE Printable)
  7. Craft Stick Shape Making
  8. Lacing Beads with Pattern Cards
  9. Geoville from Discovery Toys (We’ve had this for years and the kids LOVE it!)
  10. Melissa & Doug Maggie Leigh Magnetic Dress-Up
  11. Lacing Cards
  12. Sight Word Cards (Dollar Tree) and clothespins with a letter on each (the kids pick up a card and find at least one of the letters and match the clothespin to the letter)

I’m sure they’ll begin to tire of the activities eventually and I’ll have to find new ones but that shouldn’t be too difficult, I’ll just head over to Pinterest! 🙂 I also pinned most of these activities to my Preschool Time board along with tons of other ideas so check it out!

~Danielle

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