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I previously wrote about my desire to create a collection of busy boxes to keep W entertained when the new baby arrives. He has been having an especially great time playing independently with his pom-pom sort box, car box and dry erase box.
Since W was having so much fun with the busy boxes, I thought that they would be perfect to take along with us on our shore trip. We had two toddlers going, so we needed a few games and activities to keep them busy while hanging at the house. There was just one problem. There was no way I was about to jam all those boxes in the car along with all of our other stuff.
Instead, I needed some kind of “on-the-go” busy box that could easily fit in our car. My brilliant mama friend, a former teacher, suggested a lunch box. What a genius idea! A small, metal lunch box makes for a perfect busy box for toddlers that can easily be played with at home or on-the-go.
An On-the-Go Busy Box Idea for Toddlers
Now, you want to make sure you get the right kind of lunch box. I wanted a magnetic lunch box (i.e. made of ferrous metal), so the toddlers could use it to play with magnetic letters and numbers. Since I was ordering online, it was tough to find one that specifically stated that it was magnetic. I did end up finding one from Oriental Trading Company. I like that this one is just plain white too, so you can decorate it however you want.
I picked up some magnetic letters that I happen to spy at the grocery store, but you can also find some online. Then, I threw in a few activities that I knew would keep the little ones busy. Stickers, crayons and cars are enough to keep W focused for quite some time (for a toddler).
You know your child best, so make sure to add items that you know will keep your toddler’s attention. So, if your toddler would rather play with cute animal figurines instead of cars, go for it. If your toddler is more likely to draw his masterpiece on your freshly painted wall than the provided notebook, then it might not be best to add the crayons. The nice thing about this busy box is that it’s easy to change out and add to as your toddler gets older.
What you’ll need:
- Metal lunch box (be sure it’s made with ferrous metal)
- Ziplock bags or pencil cases
- Busy Box ideas…
- pack of crayons and a small notepad
- stickers and a small notepad
- cars or animal figurines
- magnetic letters and numbers
- a few small board books
- dry erase crayons with some contact paper (get the idea here)
- small stamps and a small notepad
How to make the on-the-go busy box:
Divide up your busy box ideas into small bags or pencil cases, toss them in the lunch box and call it a day! An on-the-go busy box is perfect for vacations, long car/airplane rides, or just an average day at home.
More Fun Ideas to Take On-the-Go
- Why not make this adorable portable activity kit from Mama.Papa.Bubba.? Instead of a lunch box, you use a binder!
- Or, you can put together a bunch of activities bags as seen on Kids Activities Blog.
- If you really are in the mood for some arts & crafts you can try making the No Sew Quiet Book from Powerful Mothering.
Do you have any ideas for toddler independent play? Let me know in the comment section below!
This is such a great idea! They definitely would have come in handy on our vacation last week! I can’t wait to put a few together!
Tarynn Playle recently posted…Discovering Washington: Lake Chelan