A busy box is perhaps one of the best, most versatile sources of entertainment you can provide your child. A properly stocked busy box can potentially keep your child occupied for a good while, as well as provide your child with a wonderful way to express his/her creativity and personality.
First, find a nice size bin (not too big, not too small, but just the right size). The next task is deciding what to put in the busy box. You want versatile supplies that will appeal to your child.
Here are some busy box basics—supplies every busy box should have:
- Color Pencils
- Elmer’s Clear Glue
- Glue Stick (Craft Bond Is Preferable)
- Hole Punch
- White Paper
- Construction Paper (Variety of Colors)
- Pipe Cleaners
- Tempera Paint (Washable & Non-toxic)
- Tissue Paper
- Paper Plates
- Paint Brushes
- Tape (Clear)
- Googly Eyes (Variety of Sizes)
- Wax Paper
- Popsicle Sticks
It is this list exhaustive? NO! This is meant to be a basic list, a foundation on which to build over time. Once you child starts crafting, you will get a better sense of what your child likes, what works, or doesn’t work for your child. The key is to make it fun. The busy box should be all about smiles and laugher. It should not be a source of frustration.
Busy box maintenance is important. Children will quickly get bored with a neglected, or dated busy box and it will be tossed to the side. You can help avoid this by conducting a monthly inventory of your child’s busy box—swapping out some of the old for something new and different, occasionally tossing in a few surprises. Better yet, monthly trips to the craft store can become special treats or rewards for good behavior.
Also, a busy box does not need to be a budget buster. Often times, dollar or discount stores are a treasure trove of crafting supplies. Not only are the items found at these types of stores inexpensive, they are also seasonal and ever changing. Variety and versatility of materials is key to having a happy, healthy, go to crafting busy box.
Next week I will share a list of items commonly found around the house that can be recycled into crafting supplies for your child's busy box.