20 Month Old Busy Box

I put together these activities for a friend’s little girl.  While mommy is serving in Iraq, I thought this busy box might help to keep her little one busy and hopefully even allow her dad some much needed time off from entertaining.  Most of the activities are homemade, repurposing items from around the house as is my norm. I housed them in a simple decorative box.  J’s own “busy box”  is kept in a closet and the activities are only brought out at certain times throughout the week.  This helps keep it’s novelty.  Some of the activities are repeats from the 1 year old Busy Box I made my niece awhile back, though I tried to make them a bit more difficult for the older age.  You’ll also notice that these activities are mostly ones I’ve mentioned in previous posts.  When I make a busy box, I try to pick the most successful activities from J’s experience, many of these are motor skill activities.  Some of these activities are things Ella can enjoy now and some she will grow into in the next few months.

You’ll have to excuse my poor decorating abilities.  That is certainly not my forte.  Most of the original toys that I made for J aren’t decorated at all.  J never seemed to mind, so hopefully little Ella will look past the covers and still enjoy the meat of the activities!

1.  Pushing Puff Balls – this is a fine motor activity and has always kept J entertained; see this post for more info

2. Color Sorting Pipe Cleaners – again a fine motor activity and I added practice with colors; this is probably the favorite homemade toy for J; see this post and this post for more info

3.  Color Wheel – practice with colors and fine motor skills; you can use the wheel in other ways too. See this post and this post fore more.

4. Puzzles -These foam puzzles were one of the best buys for J. They were just $1 at our local grocery store and I picked them up on the fly one time.  When I saw them there months later, I bought a few more as gifts. I bring the color puzzle on plane trips sometimes since there are few pieces and it’s very light. 

5. Family Bag – this is similar to J’s family magnet pics.  I added each family member’s name to Ella’s pics, laminated them (with contact paper) and gave her a little purse to carry them in.  J has loved his family pics since before he was one.  I thought adding the names could encourage name recognition.

6. Seed Family Worship CD – I had previously sent one of their CDs to my friend while she’s in Iraq, but thought her daughter might like one too.  These cd’s are really great and not just for kids IMO.  They are an excellent way to help us write God’s Word on our hearts.  See this post for more.

7. Fish Counting and Matching file folder game – J has a similar matching game, I just made this one a bit more durable by adding it to a file folder for safe keeping.  The envelope holds the laminated fish cards to match as well as the fish to place on the counting page.  I found the counting template here from Tot school and have used it many times with J.

8. Sponge Jewelry – a fine motor activity and again a favorite of J’s, simply thread the sponges onto the pipe cleaners.  I found a greater variety of sponges for Ella’s jewelry.  A girl needs to match!  See this post for more info.

11 responses to “20 Month Old Busy Box

  1. What fun little activity box! I especially like the sponge jewelry – how fun for the kids. One thing I love for the kids – although it can be messy – is Play-Doh!

  2. This box is so adorable full of wonderful manipulatives. Thanks for sharing. Lisa:)

  3. Pingback: Toddler Busy-Bags. « TheBowBlog

  4. Can you please share the template for the fish in the matching fish file folder game? What a great idea!

    • I actually got the fish template from a worksheet J brought home from Sunday School. I saved the paper knowing I could do something with it someday. I imagine it would be easy enough to create on your own using google images.

  5. This is probably my fave busy box I have seen so far! Thanks for the ideas!

  6. I have never heard of a busy box before but there are some brilliant ideas here, Thanks for sharing (going to set one up this week):-)

  7. Hello, I am doing a busy bag exchange and would love to the the Sponge Jewelry and was wondering where you got your sponge’s at? I went to hobby lobby and they didn’t have anything close to this. Thank you!

    • Our dollar store had a cheap set of the black and pink ones (those are the cheapest option and easiest ones to find). I bought the other colors at Wal-Mart and have seen them at Rite-Aid and Walgreens. They are actually sponge curlers that I cut up into smaller pieces, so you gotta look in the aisle for hair accessories. Thanks for including it in your busy bag exchange! This was one of J’s favorite activities.

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